Slot – The Slot Receiver Position in the NFL

A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, as in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. In addition, it may refer to a position in a group, series, or sequence. From Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition.

The Slot receiver, like the Wide Receiver position, primarily covers short and intermediate routes. However, he also acts as an important blocking cog on running plays. Because he lines up closer to the middle of the field, he has to be able to read defenders better than other wide receivers. On passing plays, the Slot receiver will often run routes that correspond with other receivers in a formation to confuse the defense.

On running plays, the Slot receiver will typically block (or at least chip) nickelbacks and outside linebackers. He is in a critical spot to block for sweeps and slants. It is important for Slot receivers to have a strong ability to read and react to the play, in order to prevent getting hit with big hits from defenses.

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