Slot receiver is a name given to the position of a football player that lines up between the last line of scrimmage (tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside wide receiver. This position is a versatile one, and it’s used more frequently than ever before in the professional game.
They’re a great target for the quarterback, and they have a lot of different routes to run. They’re also very fast, and they can move up, in, and out of the line of scrimmage easily.
These receivers are a threat to do almost anything when they’re on the field, and this makes them a favorite for many teams. In recent years, slot receivers have been targeted on 40 percent of passing attempts in the NFL.
In the NFL, Slot receivers are often used on running plays designed to take advantage of the outside cornerbacks and safeties that cover them. They aren’t required to deal crushing blocks like defensive linemen do, but they must be able to quickly seal off the outside with their bodies and move quickly out of their stance. This is especially important on runs that are designed to take advantage of the open space along the sideline.
They also use their speed and quickness to pick up passes that are short, and they can run behind the line of scrimmage as well. This is a good way to make it harder for defenders to catch them, and it also gives the quarterback more room to throw the ball.
As a result, slot receivers have to be very accurate and precise when running routes and timing plays. This is why it’s important for them to have a good sense of the field and know where their defenders are located so they can get on the same page with the quarterback.
When running a play, they will usually be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback, and this allows them to get in front of their defender and have a full head of steam before the ball hits the ground. This helps them move quickly to the sideline, and can give the QB time to get the ball out of their hand or pitch it to them.
The quarterback may also try to call them into the backfield for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. On these plays, they’ll usually be called into pre-snap movement by the quarterback, and then the quarterback will try to snap the ball to them just as they’re making their way in front of their defender. This can be a very effective tactic, and the Slot receiver will often run the same route that the ball carrier does to try and get in front of their defender as quickly as possible.
They’re a big part of the blocking game, too, and they’ll line up close to the center of the field because that’s where the quarterback will typically be. They’ll block (or chip) nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and even defensive ends, and this can be a crucial part of the success of a running play.