The slot is an area of the field between the outside wide receivers and the offensive linemen. In the NFL, a player who lines up in this area is known as a slot receiver. This position is not as physical as that of a wide receiver, but it requires the same skill set: a high vertical leap, good hands, and precise route running. In addition, a slot receiver is often required to block for the ball carrier on running plays.
In 1963, Sid Gillman introduced his revolutionary strategy of placing two wide receivers on the outside and one inside. His method was so successful that Al Davis adopted it when he became the head coach of the Raiders in 1966. Using this formation, Davis could deploy his wide receivers on the weak side of the defense and attack all three levels of the secondary. In order to be effective, slot receivers must be very fast and have excellent chemistry with their quarterbacks.
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A slot is a narrow notch, groove, hole, or opening, such as a keyway in a lock, the slit for coins in a vending machine, or an open space in a piece of furniture. It can also refer to a position or time: He has a slot at the library from 10:00 to 10:30 on Tuesdays.
The term slot can also be used to describe a particular position in an organization or in a game, such as a defensive back or center position. These positions generally have specific responsibilities and duties that are unique from other players on the team.
In the NFL, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up in the middle of the field, between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers. This positioning allows the slot receiver to be in the best position to receive passes from the quarterback and run routes up, down, or diagonally. In addition, the slot receiver is often a blocking receiver on running plays, such as sweeps and slants. This role requires that the slot receiver have excellent hands, a high vertical leap, and the ability to run precise routes at top speeds. In addition, a slot receiver must be able to block well. These skills are important for any position in the NFL, but are crucial for a slot receiver.