A slot is a narrow opening in something. For example, a slot in a CD player is where the CD can be put in. A slot in a schedule is a spot where activities can occur.
A wide receiver who lines up in the slot, also known as a “slotback,” is a key part of the offensive playbook and sees a lot of action. Lined up behind the line of scrimmage, slot receivers can run a variety of routes, from short to deep to outside. They are often used to help set up the quarterback on passing plays, and they’re important blockers for the ball carrier when running.
Slot Receivers are Extra Speedy
A slot receiver is a little smaller and shorter than an outside wide receiver, so they need to have better hands and route-running skills. They also need to be able to run faster than other wide receivers, because they have to catch the football before it can get to the opposing team’s defensive backs.
They Need to Have Great chemistry with the QB
While they don’t have the same stats as an outside wide receiver, slot receivers can help to make up for this in the passing game. They can also help to open up the running game, and they are a key part of running a successful sweep or slant play.
They Need to Be Tough and Fast
A wide receiver that lines up in the slot is usually tougher than an outside receiver because they need to be able to handle defenders’ hits while making catches. They’re also usually more fast than other wide receivers, because they have a lot of time to react and take advantage of blitzes by the linebackers.
They Need to Have Great Hands and Speed
A slot receiver’s hands need to be strong and fast, so they’re usually a little shorter and stockier than an outside wide receiver. They should be able to pick up the ball and run it without losing control, and they should have good speed because they need to get past the linebacker before the ball can be caught.
They Need to Have Great Rhythm and Consistency
Slot receivers need to have good chemistry with their quarterback, because they will be on the field together for most of the game. They will need to know the QB’s signals and have a good sense of what the defense is doing. They need to be able to read the defense and adjust their positioning and timing quickly, which can be difficult for them.
They Need to Have Good Speed and Determination
A Slot receiver’s speed and determination are what makes them so valuable in the passing game. They need to be able to run quick routes, catch passes in the air, and be able to make a play in the end zone.
They Need to Have Great Thru-Body Strength
A slot receiver’s strength and durability are what helps them make catches in the air and run past defenders. They also need to be able to absorb a hit or two from the defensive backs and the running back, which can be dangerous if they don’t have good upper body strength.