The slot receiver is a player in the NFL who lines up just behind the offensive line. He is also called a slotback, though that term may be used to refer to any player who lines up in the slot area. This position is becoming more popular in the NFL, with some of the top receivers in the game lining up in this spot.
The History of the Slot
The slot has been a prominent part of the NFL for several decades, and many players have paved the way for this position as we know it today. The slot formation was first introduced by legendary Oakland Raiders coach Bob Davis in the 1960s, and he had a great deal of success with it.
He believed that a wide receiver who lined up just behind the line of scrimmage could be more versatile and dangerous than an outside receiver, which was why he created the slot. This positioning opens up the receiver’s route options, and it also increases the distance between him and the defender, which gives him more space to make a move.
Compared to the wide receivers outside the slot, the slot receiver has to be more speedy and skilled in route running. He needs to be able to run all types of routes, including deep, short, and inside.
They are also a vital blocker for the ball carrier on running plays, since they line up close to the middle of the field. They may have to deal with nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and even safeties on certain runs.
Some slot receivers also act as ball carriers from time to time, especially for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. These plays require the quarterback to call them into pre-snap motion so they can get ahead of the defense in order to catch the ball.
The slot has become a highly popular and lucrative position in the NFL, and teams have begun to utilize it more and more frequently. Some of the best receivers in the league, including Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, and Keenan Allen, have benefited from this strategy.
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