The slot receiver is usually the second wide receiver on the team. This position has gained more and more importance as NFL teams have shifted to using three-receiver sets. The slot receiver is normally shorter and stockier than the other wide receivers, but they still have to be very fast and precise with their routes. They also need to be able to block. In running plays where they aren’t the ball carrier, they must block (or at least chip) defensive backs and safety positions, especially on outside-to-inside routes such as slants and sweeps.
The Slot receiver must master every passing route that the other wide receivers run, and he will often be asked to run more difficult routes because of his position in the formation. He will be asked to route the ball to both the inside and the outside, deep and short. Because they are a bit closer to the middle of the field, slot receivers have more of a chance to be hit by linebackers and safeties than other wide receivers.
Because the Slot receiver is often required to play more complex routes and be more precise with his route running, he has to be extra-speedy and have great hands. He will be the target of many blitz packages, and he will need to be able to adjust his routes quickly when the defense makes a sudden change.
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