The slot is an area on the field that is between and slightly behind the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. This is where a player typically lines up, which is why they are called “slot receivers.”
The term “slot” is derived from the word slot in the context of airplanes. In aviation, a slot is an authorization to either take off or land at a particular airport on a specific day during a specified time period.
In football, the slot receiver is a position that has become increasingly important in recent years. This is because offenses are running alignments with at least three wide receivers more frequently than they did in the past. This allows quarterbacks to stretch out the field, attack all three levels of defense, and make use of their versatile weapon.
Slot receivers are a vital part of an offense, and they can make or break a team’s success on the field. They are also very hard to defend, and their versatility can help the offense score more points.
A slot receiver is a wide receiver who can also play in a variety of different ways, including as a runner on pitch plays and reverses. They have to be able to move quickly and run with the ball.
They are generally shorter and stockier than a typical wide receiver, but they must be strong enough to absorb contact in the middle of the field while also being fast enough to blow past defenders. This is because they can sometimes be called into pre-snap motion to help get the ball to the quarterback.
Players who thrive as a slot receiver tend to be speedy and have great hands. They can also be very reliable with their routes and timing.
The slot receiver position is a very popular one in the NFL. There are currently several high-profile players that are thriving in the role, including Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen.
Slot receivers are drafted and signed as wide receivers, but they earn the title of slot receiver due to their specific skill set and ability to play in a variety of ways. They have the speed and hands to make a big impact in the offense, allowing quarterbacks to throw the ball downfield without any problems.
Their speed can also help them make up for the lack of an outside runner, which makes them a great option when running a go route. This is why they are a valuable addition to the offense, and they see a lot of action on both sides of the ball.
They may also act as a runner on pitch plays and in the reverse and end-around phases of the game, giving quarterbacks an additional blocker for these plays.
While slot receivers are a hot commodity in the NFL today, their importance goes back far beyond the present. In fact, it was Al Davis who invented the slot formation in 1963, and he used it to great success during his tenure as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.