A Slot receiver is a specialist in the passing game that lines up right behind the line of scrimmage. This gives the receiver plenty of room to run precise routes – up, in, or out, short and deep. A Slot receiver usually has great hands and speed, as well as top-notch route-running skills. It takes a good amount of practice to develop chemistry with the quarterback, but once that’s done, it can lead to big plays.
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A Slot player is also called a “slot target” because he needs to be able to read the defense and get open quickly. In addition, he must be able to adjust his route to the quarterback’s eyes and make sure that the quarterback has a clear picture of him.
A Slot receiver’s role in running plays is also crucial. He needs to be able to block effectively, particularly in pass protection. He also must be able to handle a little bit of running work on pitches, reverses, and end-arounds. To do this, he must be able to get into pre-snap motion quickly and help shield the ball carrier from the defense’s best tacklers.