The Slot Receiver in the NFL


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The slot receiver is a special type of wide receiver that has become more common in the NFL. Typically shorter and faster than outside wide receivers, the slot receiver lines up on the field between and slightly behind the other wide receivers in an offense’s formation. A slot receiver also has the ability to run many different types of routes.

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A Slot receiver has a number of tasks that must be done on every play in order to be successful. First, he must catch passes. This requires him to have excellent hands and great speed, as well as top-notch route-running skills. Unlike outside wide receivers, who usually only have one or two primary routes they are known for running, the slot receiver must be able to run all types of routes, including in and out, deep, and short.

Besides catching passes, the Slot receiver is also responsible for blocking on running plays. He is especially important on runs to the middle of the field, as he is closer to the defensive positions than the other wide receivers. He must block (or at least chip) nickelbacks, safeties, and outside linebackers on these plays.

Lastly, the Slot receiver must be effective at slants and sweeps on running plays. This type of blocking is more demanding than that of other wide receivers, as the Slot receiver must be able to read the defense and seal off defenders before they can make a tackle. Depending on the type of running play, he may also need to perform a back-block or crackback block.