Slot receivers are a crucial part of any football team’s offense. They are able to do things that most wide receivers can’t, and they add a lot of versatility to the offense. This is why teams love to draft and sign them, as they can be used in a variety of ways on the field.
They are also extremely versatile in the catch and run game, running shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. This gives them a chance to get open and stretch the defense vertically.
Their speed helps them in the run game, too, as they can fly past the secondary when running a go route. They also have excellent hands, which help them absorb a lot of contact.
They need to have a great deal of awareness of the field, which is important when running different route patterns and timing plays. They must also have a good chemistry with the quarterback, which will help them get open and make big plays on the field.
Because they line up behind the outside tackles, they often need to be able to block. This is especially important when there isn’t a fullback or tight end on the play. They don’t need to deal crushing blocks like the offensive linemen do, but they do need to be able to position themselves well enough to keep defenders from getting in their way.
This is why they are sometimes called nickel backs or slot corners, and why they are so effective in the pass game. They can cover a plethora of different types of routes, and they can do it with ease.
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