When it comes to football offenses, a team isn’t complete without an elite slot receiver. Slot receivers are the second wide receiver on the team, lining up a few yards behind the outside wide receiver and working hand-in-hand with the tight end and fullback. They are able to do things with the ball that other receivers can’t, making them a valuable part of the game plan.
They line up inside the defensive tackles and tight end, allowing them to easily run routes up and in and to the out. They are also responsible for catching passes that are thrown behind the line of scrimmage. This position requires a specific skill set and chemistry with the quarterback. Here are some traits of a great slot receiver:
Slot receivers must have speed to fly past the safety or cornerback on go routes, and they must be precise with their timing. They need to have excellent hands to catch passes from a deep position and be able to block. They also need to have good chemistry with the quarterback, which means they need to be able to read defenses and make adjustments quickly.
As the NFL has become more reliant on three-receiver offensive sets, teams have started drafting and signing players with unique skills to fill this role. While the term “slot” has only recently entered the lexicon, this position is actually quite old. It was first popularized by legendary Raiders coach Al Davis in the 1960s. He wanted to find a second wide receiver who could be used to create confusion with their quick route running and good hands. He found the perfect player in John Madden, who grew up playing and coaching football.
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