Slot – The Fastest Receiving Position on the Football Team


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The Slot receiver is the fastest receiving position on the field, and has unique responsibilities that outside receivers do not. They need to be able to run precise routes, as well as to the inside and outside, short and deep. They must be able to block effectively, and have good awareness of the defense. They are often the key player in running plays that target the outside edge of the defense.

In addition to their route-running and blocking skills, Slot receivers must excel at acting as a decoy for the quarterback on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They often need to be called into pre-snap motion and then have a head of steam behind them before they get the ball, so that they can find open space without getting hit by the defense’s best tacklers.

Historically, Slot receivers were considered the offense’s third-best wide receivers. However, in recent years, they have become a distinct and valuable position. These receivers are smaller than outside wide receivers, but they can stretch the defense vertically with speed, and can be extremely effective on shorter routes, such as slants. They are usually also excellent at timing plays with the quarterback, and need to be very aware of the defense.

A Slot receiver is also an important part of the offensive line, especially on running plays. They need to be able to seal off nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties. They may even need to crack back blocks on defensive ends. Because of their positioning on the field, Slot receivers must have advanced blocking skills, more so than outside receivers.

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