Slot is a term used to describe the position of a wide receiver in an NFL game. This type of player is shorter and faster than traditional wide receivers, and they often have a great deal of speed and agility to run quick routes that stretch the defense vertically.
Slot receivers can also play several different positions on the field, including running back and blocker. They are an important part of the offense and can help create a wide open field for the team’s passing attack.
The Slot receiver is generally lined up slightly in the backfield, a few steps off of the line of scrimmage. This allows him to make easy motions, shifts, and changes in formation to catch the ball while still being close enough to the QB to help them read his defensive coverages. This alignment is also crucial in running plays that involve the slot, since it will allow them to seal off the outside of the field.
The slot receiver will usually start blocking on running plays designed to go to the outside of the field, as well as any run plays that involve the runner gaining yardage in the open field. They will block nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and even safeties, in order to seal off the edge of the field and give their runner room to run.
They can also pick up blitzes from their opponents, especially when they are blocking for the running back or wide receiver. They may also chip their defenders, providing a little protection on a run play or an outside pass reception.
Depending on the team and quarterback, they may have a special role in the offense. For example, the Miami Dolphins have a very good slot receiver in Ricardo Lockett. He has 67 receptions, 756 yards, and 7 touchdowns this season.
Players with these skills can be very effective in the NFL, and they can add a different dimension to any team’s offense. They are often a vital part of a team’s success, and are particularly useful for teams that play with a 3-1 receiver/back formation.
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