Slot Wide Receivers
Slot is the area on the field that a wide receiver lines up in. Historically, the slot position was reserved for a second wide receiver that had speed and great hands. The position was popularized by Raiders head coach Al Davis, who wanted to use a speedy receiver in the middle of the field that could get open for running plays. Davis coached the team from 1966-1978, and John Madden followed his lead and used the slot formation to great success.
Slot receivers are usually called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and must be fast enough to outrun defenders. They are usually asked to block on running plays such as sweeps and slants. They must be able to pick up blitzes from linebackers and safeties, and also provide protection for the ball carrier on outside run plays by sealing off the defensive end.
They are also important pass receivers and must be able to read routes well. They must be able to catch the ball in tight coverage and not drop it, which is why they are often given more complex routes than other wide receivers. They must also be able to block well for running backs and quarterbacks. Because of where they line up on the field, they must be able to block (or chip) nickelbacks and outside linebackers as well as safety blitzes.
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