A slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up pre-snap between the last man on the line of scrimmage (either a tight end or offensive tackle) and the outside receiver. They are usually in a position that is essential for sweeps and slant runs to be successful.
The position got its name because of this location on the field, though it is a common term for any player who lines up in this area. On passing plays, slot receivers run routes that correspond with the other wide receivers in an attempt to confuse the defense.
They also block on running plays to help the ball carrier get past the defenders. They are a crucial part of any offense, but are especially vital in a spread offense where the quarterback has to stretch out and attack all three levels of the defense.
A slot receiver must have excellent speed, good hands and excellent chemistry with the quarterback to be effective at their position. It is also important to be able to run multiple routes that will confuse the defense.
Practicing and learning the right routes will increase your chances of success. Having good chemistry with the quarterback will help you understand what his intent is and how to be prepared to catch the pass when it comes your way.
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