Slots – The Slot Receiver Is A Must-Have For Any Football Team
A slot is a narrow notch or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. The word also refers to a position or period of time, as in an airplane slot or a television or radio schedule. In aviation, a slot is an allocated amount of time that an airline can operate its aircraft at an airport. In addition, slots can be traded or even sold, such as when an airline buys a slot at Heathrow to avoid congestion.
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While the Slot receiver shares many traits and responsibilities with other wide receiver positions, it is considered a separate position on offenses due to its unique responsibilities and requirements. For starters, the position requires advanced blocking skills. This is because they often line up in close quarters to the defensive linemen, and as such, are exposed to a higher risk of injury.
Slot receivers must also possess superior speed and agility in order to run routes. They are often asked to slant, out-route and/or mirror other receivers in an attempt to confuse the defense and create open passing lanes. The nuances of this position require players to be able to read the defense and understand which defenders they are facing on each play.
Finally, Slot receivers must also have great awareness of the field. This is particularly important on running plays. They must be able to anticipate where defenders are coming from, and they must be able to properly block them off.
As football continues to evolve into a more spread offense, the Slot receiver is becoming more and more of a focal point on offenses. In addition to their blocking responsibilities, Slot receivers are often asked to carry the ball like a running back on pitch plays and reverses.
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