The slot is a position on the field where a wide receiver lines up, usually just inside of the other team’s second cornerback. This is an important part of the offensive formation because it gives teams a great chance to get open for passes. It also helps protect the running backs on sweeps and slant runs. The slot receiver must be able to block (or at least chip) nickelbacks, outside linebackers, safeties, and sometimes even perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
A good slot receiver will be very good at route running, having an excellent knowledge of the field and which defenders are where. He will also need to have a very good understanding of the quarterback’s plan and be precise with his timing. This combination will lead to many big plays for the offense.
Some of the best slot receivers in the NFL today are Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen. These players are all very fast and have excellent chemistry with the quarterback, which is essential for any successful offensive player. They also have an ability to run almost any route in the book, which is a huge advantage for the offense.
On passing plays, the slot receiver will often be asked to act as a decoy and run routes that match those of the other receivers on the play. This can help confuse the defense and give the receivers more space to catch the ball.
In some cases, the slot receiver will also be asked to carry the ball like a running back. This is especially common on pitch plays, end-arounds, and reverses. In these instances, the quarterback will call him into pre-snap motion and hand the ball off to him as he is making his way through the defense.
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