Choosing the Right Slot Receiver
A slot is a position in a group, series, sequence or other organizational unit. It is also a term used in gambling for the area on the machine where credits are placed. There are various types of slots, including high limit, low limit and penny machines. There are even video slots, which allow players to bet multiple coins per spin.
In football, a team isn’t complete without a versatile and reliable Slot receiver who can do just about anything on the field. The Slot position lines up in the middle of the field between the wideout and tight end, running a variety of routes to help the offense stretch the defense. The ability to get open and create a big play is why many people consider the Slot to be a crucial position in any offense.
Route Running: To be successful in the Slot, a player needs to run every route possible and be precise with their timing. The ability to connect with the quarterback is equally important, and if the two are on the same page, it can lead to some huge plays. Blocking: Because the Slot isn’t protected by a fullback or another tight end, they have to be able to fill in and block effectively as well. A good Slot will be able to help the offense by opening up holes for running backs and freeing up the outside linebackers for pass rushers.
Choosing the Right Slot
Before Bill Davis became Raiders head coach, he used to preach that the best Slot receivers were small and stocky with great hands and excellent route running. He wanted his Slot receivers to be a hybrid between a wideout and a running back, capable of both receiving and blocking. He found success with this strategy, and it is now commonplace in the NFL.
A good Slot receiver can do just about everything on the field, but they also need to be able to play well in coverage. They need to be able to read coverages, know what defenders are coming and when, and have an advanced understanding of the field. Additionally, they need to be able to break a lot of tackles and make explosive moves in the open field. These traits make the Slot a difficult position to fill, but one that’s very valuable for an offense. In fact, some of the most prolific receivers in the league spend a majority of their time in the Slot. Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, and Cooper Kupp are just a few examples.