A slot is a position in football where a player lines up pre-snap between the tight end or the offensive tackle and the outside wide receiver. It’s a versatile position that allows a player to do many different things and is the backbone of a successful offense. But what makes up the ideal slot receiver? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key traits that make up the best players at the position.
Compared to outside wide receivers, the typical Slot receiver will usually be smaller and stockier. They will also need to be extra speedy and possess top-notch route-running skills. They’ll need to be able to run just about every kind of pass route there is — to the inside and out, deep and short. This requires great awareness of the field as well, so they’ll need to know where defenders are and be precise with their timing.
Because of the pre-snap positioning they have, Slot receivers are also expected to be a big part of the blocking game. They’ll often line up close to defensive positions and block (or at least chip) nickelbacks, safeties, and outside linebackers. For running plays that are designed to the outside, they’ll even need to perform a crack back block on defensive ends. This requires them to have excellent strength and power as well.
Chemistry With the QB
It’s important for all receivers to have a strong connection with their quarterback, but it’s especially vital for Slot receivers. They must be able to work well with the quarterback in order to create openings for themselves, as they won’t have a fullback or another outside wide receiver to help out with the blocking. This also means that the Slot receiver needs to be a good listener, and not just talk a lot during the snap count.
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