Slot Receivers in the NFL
A slot is a narrow opening, or gap, into which something can fit. For example, a coin can be dropped into a slot on the side of a machine to activate it. The word “slot” can also refer to a position on a team or in a schedule. In gambling, a slot is a position where the player can win big amounts of money by hitting one or more of the jackpot symbols.
The slot receiver is a football position that’s been around for decades and continues to grow in popularity. It’s defined by its responsibilities and skill set, which often sets it apart from outside wide receivers and even some tight ends. The best slot receivers have great speed and precision in their route running, along with excellent hands. They must also be tough enough to absorb contact and run precise routes, since they’ll line up a few steps behind the line of scrimmage.
They need to be able to block as well, but their initial blocking is typically less important than that of the other wideouts on the play. However, on running plays like end-arounds and pitch plays, they will need to block for the ball carrier and pick up blitzes from secondary players. They can also help provide protection on outside run plays by chipping linebackers and safeties.
Slot receivers have a very specific role to fill, and they need to be good at it in order to excel in the NFL. In addition to being fast and having good hands, they must be able to run every single passing route on the field. They’ll also need to be precise in their timing, and they must have great chemistry with the quarterback.
Several famous slot receivers have dominated the position over the years, including Wes Welker, who was considered to be one of the greatest in history. Wayne Chrebet is another legendary slot receiver who racked up 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns over the course of his 11-year career. Other notable slot receivers include Andre Rison, Charlie Joiner, and Julian Edelman.