Slot Wide Receivers

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A wide receiver who lines up slightly inward, or off the line of scrimmage, a Slot receiver is able to do more than other wide receivers because he can run more precise routes such as slants and quick outs. Because of this, they have to be very fast and have superb route running skills. Additionally, they often have to block on plays where they are not the ball carrier (pitch plays, reverses, end-arounds).

The physical traits of a Slot receiver are similar to those of other wide receivers in terms of height and speed, but they tend to be shorter and quicker than traditional outside wide receivers. This makes them a key target for defenses, especially in the nickel and dime packages where they are often deployed to counteract more physical outside wide receivers.

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In order to be a successful Slot receiver, it’s important for him to have an advanced understanding of how to read the defense and where the defenders are positioned on the field. He must also be able to effectively communicate with the quarterback so that they are on the same page. This is particularly crucial on deep routes, as well as when he acts as the ball carrier for pitch and reverse plays. Finally, he must be able to block effectively because, unlike outside receivers, Slots will be called into pre-snap motion on many plays and must make sure they are set up in front of the ball carrier before the snap. If he does this correctly, they can often be a major part of the team’s offensive success. If he doesn’t, they can be left on the outside looking in. This can be very frustrating for them and their coaches. However, there are things that he can do to help improve his performance in this area. These include: