The slot is a wide receiver position that lines up just inside the last man on the line of scrimmage (often the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. As the NFL continues to move toward more spread formations, the slot’s role has become more important than ever, and a successful player in this position needs to have a variety of skills.
While it is true that Slot receivers need to be fast and have great route running ability, they also must be able to block well. They are often asked to take on and block defenders that are much larger than them, including nickelbacks, safetys, and even defensive ends. They need to be able to quickly read and understand what their assignments are before the snap, as well as be able to perform those blocks effectively once the ball is snapped.
In addition to blocking, Slot receivers are often called upon to act as a running back on some plays, especially pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. This requires a quick first step, good balance, and the ability to break some tackles. In some cases, Slot receivers are also used as decoys on certain running plays.
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