Slot Receivers in the NFL


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The NFL’s reliance on slot receivers has become the norm over the past decade or so, and these players are physically shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers. As a result, they need to have impeccable route running skills and be precise with their timing in order to maximize their effectiveness. They are also responsible for blocking (or at least chipping) nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties on running plays that go to the outside part of the field.

Slot receivers are also expected to act as running backs on pitch plays, end-arounds and other types of designed running plays. In these situations, the Slot receiver will be called into pre-snap motion and then handed off or pitched the ball from the quarterback. They will then need to find open space and make a quick burst to the outside of the defense in order to avoid being tackled.

As slot receivers must also be able to carry the ball from time to time, they must have good balance and footwork to keep up with their teammates. Additionally, slot receivers must be able to run all of the standard receiving routes as well as some more complex ones. They are also required to be very precise with their routes and chemistry with the quarterback, as they often operate out of an extremely tight window.

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