The Slot in NFL Football

The slot is the area on the field between the tight end and the wide receiver. It is where the quarterback looks to throw the ball to on most passing plays. They can also be an important blocking player on running plays. The slot is a position that has become increasingly important as teams use more and more three receiver/three-tight end formations. Some players have mastered the skill set of the slot and become some of the best receivers in the NFL today.

The earliest examples of the slot were from the Air Force and the military, but they became more widespread in the 1960s when Coach Don Davis implemented it with his Oakland Raiders. The idea was to create a more versatile and reliable option for the quarterback, especially against man coverage. Davis wanted to find receivers that were quicker, had better hands and precision routes, and could run all types of patterns, deep and short.

Because of the unique role they fill on the offense, slot receivers tend to be smaller and faster than traditional wide receivers. They often have great route-running skills and must be able to master just about every type of route possible. This is why most teams place a premium on speed and agility when selecting slot receivers.

One of the main reasons for the increased emphasis on speed is that slot receivers can be targeted a lot more frequently than outside wideouts. Typically, the slot receiver is a little closer to the middle of the field than the outside wide receivers, which makes them vulnerable to big hits. In addition, slot receivers have to be able to catch the ball with both their hands and run precise routes. They must have excellent chemistry with the quarterback as well, which is why so many teams invest so much into finding the right fit for their slot receivers.

Aside from their catching ability, slots are also valuable blockers. They often have to chip away at blitzes from linebackers and safeties, as well as help protect running backs on outside runs. They can also be a huge asset when it comes to opening up gaps for rushing attempts, since they are usually in a good spot to seal off the defense.

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