The slot is the area between the outside wide receivers and the tight end. The receivers who line up in this area are referred to as “slot receivers.” They normally have a much wider range of skills than wideouts do and can become a crucial part of any team’s offense. In the past, a number of NFL coaches, such as John Madden, have tried to create an offense around the slot receiver by focusing on developing them to do things that other wideouts cannot.
These players are often called upon to run more complex routes that require a different skill set than the wideouts on the team. They need to be able to get open in space, be precise with their routes, and have reliable hands that can handle the contact they’re likely to experience when running inside routes. Slot receivers also need to be fast to gain separation from the defensive backs.
Most slot receivers don’t look like your typical wideout, either. They tend to be shorter, stockier, and tougher. They also have quicker feet and more speed than their wide receiver counterparts, which helps them beat the coverage from the secondary when running go routes. They’re a key piece of an offensive playbook and must be ready to receive the ball anywhere on the field.
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