Slot is a position on a team’s offense that allows the quarterback to make quick decisions when running plays. It also provides a safety valve for pass coverage, and is often used to help with blocking. The position has become increasingly popular in recent years, and players like Wes Welker, Charlie Joiner, and Wayne Chrebet have paved the way for slot receivers today. We’ll take a look at what it means to play slot, including route running, chemistry with the quarterback, and blocking.
Slot receivers must have good awareness of the field. They need to know where defenders are located so they can be precise with their timing on routes. They also need to be able to block (or at least chip) nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and defensive ends. They’re a key cog in the offensive wheel, and it takes a lot of practice to be successful at the position.
In addition to their blocking, slot receivers must be able to run some routes like running backs from time to time. They’ll be called into pre-snap motion on some pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds and will need to run with speedy skill. Oftentimes, slot receivers will act as ball carriers on these types of running plays, and they’ll need to be able to get to the outside quickly without getting hit by the defense’s best tacklers.
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