The slot receiver is a crucial cog in any NFL offense. They don’t look like your typical wide receiver, as they are typically shorter and stockier, but they still need to be speedy and have great hands. They also need to be precise with their routes and timing.
The Slot receiver typically lines up in a certain area on the field and works to match up with the outside wide receivers of the opposing team, in order to confuse them on passing plays. The Slot receiver will run routes inside and out, deep and short. They are also a big part of running plays, where they will block for the ball carrier.
Having good chemistry with the quarterback is critical for any receiving position, but it’s even more important for Slot receivers. If the Slot receiver and the quarterback are on the same page, it will allow them to execute some really good route running and timing plays.
Another thing to note about the Slot receiver is that they need to be great blockers. Since they don’t have a fullback or extra tight end to help them, they need to be able to block defensive backs and linebackers on running plays, especially when the run play is going to the outside of the field.
Some Slot receivers will even need to carry the ball from time to time on pitch plays, reverses and end-arounds. They will be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and then be asked to make a break for the open field.
Many Slot receivers also act as lead blockers on running plays, especially if the ball is designed to go to the inside of the field. This is where their blocking is particularly important, as they need to be able to stop blitzes from linebackers and safeties.
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