Slot receivers are a special type of wide receiver used in football. They have the speed and hands to make big plays in the slot area of the field. They also have a great ability to run precise routes.
They are a staple of the NFL’s offense. They are often called upon for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They are also sometimes paired with the running back for these same types of plays.
A slot receiver is usually a bit smaller and shorter than an outside wide receiver, so they have to be fast and have excellent hands to be successful. Their speed helps them to go past the secondary, or safety, when running a route. Their hands are also crucial because they must be able to absorb contact as they make their way down the field.
They may even act as a ball carrier from time to time, especially for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. Their pre-snap motion and their speed allow them to move quickly past the defender, making it difficult for them to block a ball carrier.
These players are a staple of many teams’ offenses in recent seasons, particularly those that utilize the 3-1 wide receiver/back formation. Their quickness and strong hands give them a distinct advantage on the field, which is why they are so heavily utilized by offenses today.
In 1963, Al Davis, one of Sid Gillman’s assistant coaches, took over the Oakland Raiders and incorporated slot formations into his strategy. It was a highly successful strategy that allowed the Raiders to become a dominant force in the league.
The Raiders went on to win the AFL championship that year and the Super Bowl in 1977. As a result, they became known as the “Raiders” and their slot formations became the standard in many NFL teams’ offenses.
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