Slot, pronounced “sloth,” is a term used to describe any of a variety of wide receivers who line up in an area between and slightly behind the outer wide receivers and the offensive linemen. In professional football, slot receivers have become increasingly common over the past decade or so. They tend to be shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers, which makes them a valuable asset for offenses who want to get the ball in the hands of an open player.
They are also called “slotbacks” and “nickel backs,” because they typically come with a nickel package that gives them extra defensemen on the field. During the past few seasons, Slot receivers have been targeted on nearly 40 percent of passing attempts.
The NFL has adapted to the use of slot receivers, and most teams are using them more and more often in the current season. The 3-1 receiver/back configuration has helped offenses move the ball more efficiently and quickly.
Many slot receivers are also very good in the run game, especially when they are lined up in the slot and off of the line of scrimmage. They can run the ball quickly, and their quickness allows them to break away from defenders in a hurry.
They are a great decoy, and when the quarterback handoffs or pitches the ball to them in the pre-snap motion, they can create a lot of movement around the line of scrimmage, which makes it easier for the other wide receivers to make open plays in the passing game.
Their pre-snap alignment can even help the offensive linemen and defensive tackles keep their eyes on the Slot receiver and the rest of the players around him, allowing them to stay out of position until the quarterback has taken control of the play. They can also act as a big decoy for other wide receivers who aren’t in the slot, but have to move off the line of scrimmage to receive the ball.
A slot receiver can also be a strong pass blocker and can help protect the quarterback in the pocket or on the sidelines. He can also help out in the return game, and he can help with special teams.
He can also be a key weapon in the slot because he can be very fast, which makes him an excellent target for the running backs. In addition, he can be an excellent cover man for the tight end and running backs.
Slot receivers are a popular choice in the NFL, and they are often a strong performer for teams with high-powered offenses. They are also a great choice for teams that play in low-scoring games because they are usually able to create space and open up the offense to other players on the field.
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