How to Be a Slot Receiver in the NFL
Slot receivers are fast, talented, and able to run any route that an offense can dream of. They also have to be able to block, since they line up close to the middle of the field and are often paired with a running back or wideout who needs protection on outside runs.
They can also act as a ball carrier for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds when they’re called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback. This is because their speedy skills allow them to be the first player in the backfield and outrun defensive backs and secondary players.
In recent years, the professional game has started to rely on slot receivers more than ever before. They’re shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers, which means they can pick up blitzes and provide extra space for a running back.
If you’re a slot receiver, you’ll likely be targeted on more than 40 percent of passing attempts in the NFL this season. This is because offenses are running alignments that have at least three wide receivers more often than they used to.
The name slot comes from where the receiver lines up on the field: between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either the tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. It’s a position that has been around for decades, but it’s only recently risen in popularity.
Several great slot receivers have made the position their own. Some of these players include Wayne Chrebet, Wes Welker, and Charlie Joiner.
Other great receivers that have made the slot a staple of the NFL include Julian Edelman, Andre Rison, and Davante Adams.
They can be very productive in the red zone and in passing situations when they’re matched up against a tough defense. These players can be the difference between a team’s success and a team’s failure.
A good slot receiver should have exceptional hands and be able to make the catch without breaking his stride. He should also be able to move quickly through the zone and run precise routes that are matched up against the defensive front.
He’ll need to be able to read the defensive alignments and the direction of the linebackers to determine the best route to run. This is why it’s important for a slot receiver to have excellent hand-eye coordination and good vision.
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