Slot is a word used to describe a player who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. This position is very useful for offenses that run alignments with multiple wide receivers because it allows a wider range of passing options.
A Slot receiver has more speed and hands than an outside receiver, but he’s generally smaller and shorter. He typically excels in running precise routes, and he’ll be a great help to an offense in putting the ball in the hands of a quarterback quickly and accurately.
He may also act as a ball carrier on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds from time to time. His speed and pre-snap motion allow him to do these things, and he’ll often be asked to do them more often than other receivers because of his position on the field.
Slot receivers are important blockers for the ball carrier, and they play a critical role in pass-heavy offenses like West Coast systems. They’ll be positioned close to the middle of the field and are more vulnerable to hitting from different angles than outside receivers, so they need to have good awareness of the defense and be on the same page as the quarterback as far as routes and timing go.
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