A narrow notch or groove, such as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. A slot may also refer to:
The position on a team’s offense, usually just behind the wide receivers but close to the line of scrimmage. The Slot receiver has a variety of responsibilities, but one of their most important is blocking. They must be able to effectively block nickelbacks and outside linebackers, as well as safeties and cornerbacks on running plays in which they aren’t the ball carrier. They are also often asked to chip defensive backs on running plays to their side of the field.
Because they line up a few steps off the line of scrimmage, Slot receivers are a bit more agile and flexible than their outside counterparts. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have their own set of unique challenges.
Whether they are working as part of a running play or acting as an outlet for the outside receivers, the Slot must have great hands and top-notch speed in order to excel. In addition, they will likely need to master every route possible, as they will be asked to run short, intermediate, and deep routes. They must be able to read defenses and know how to break down coverage quickly in order to avoid getting stuck on the wrong side of an alignment or blown by a blitz.
In addition to their work in the passing game, Slot receivers will be asked to carry the ball from time to time on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They are often called into pre-snap motion and will need to have excellent footwork in order to create enough space for themselves and the running back to get through the hole. Because of their positioning, Slot receivers also have to be able to perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
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