The slot is a key player in the NFL today, and many teams utilize this position more than others. Having a slot receiver who thrives in this role is an important part of any successful offense, especially with the proliferation of mobile quarterbacks and the popularity of the passing game.
Slot Receiver vs Wideout
The main difference between a slot receiver and a wideout is that the slot receiver lines up in the slot area, which is a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. This gives them a lot more options to run and catch the ball than if they lined up on the sideline.
A slot receiver also has more flexibility in terms of their routes than a wideout, as they can run fly routes and in-breaking routes. This is because they are a little shorter and stockier than a wideout.
They are often called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback, and on certain plays they will even carry the ball like a running back. This helps them get open quickly and stretch the defense vertically.
However, while a slot receiver may have more speed than a wideout, they are not quite as fast as a running back. So, the team is likely to have a backup running back to help them out in these situations. This will give the slot receiver more time to make a play in the red zone. They are a great option for pitch plays, reverses and end-arounds as well.