A slot receiver is a type of wide receiver that lines up in a spot on the field called a “slot” or “nickel and dime.” These players are used by many NFL teams to create an extra blocker on running plays designed to the outside portion of the field. They also provide the quarterback with a reliable and versatile option when throwing the ball.
A slot receiver typically has a shorter and quicker build than a traditional wide receiver, but they still need to have excellent route-running skills to thrive in this position. They also need to be tough enough to absorb contact and fast enough to blow past defenders.
The slot position was introduced in 1963, by Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders. It was his way of creating an offensive formation that could attack all three levels of the defense — the line of scrimmage, the linebackers, and the secondary.
Slot receivers are now an important part of many NFL offenses, and there’s a good reason for that: They’re highly effective. They’re a key player in both passing and running offenses, giving quarterbacks an extra option to attack all the defense’s defenders.
In addition to being a highly effective pass-catching option, they can also play the role of a ball carrier from time to time. This can include pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. On these plays, they’re often called into pre-snap motion, and the rest of the play is all about timing.
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