Slot receivers play a key role in an offense, and often are seen as a separate position from wideouts. They have many responsibilities that differ from the other receivers on the field.
Slot Receiver’s Role:
The primary job of the slot receiver is to run routes. They must master every route on the field — to the inside, outside, deep, and short. This requires good timing, precision, and chemistry with the quarterback.
They can also be used to carry the ball from time to time, especially for pitch plays and reverses. Their speed makes them a great decoy for the defense on these runs.
Slot receivers need to be fast and agile in order to outrun the defense and keep up with the quarterback’s pre-snap motion. This also helps them get past defenders in the open field and can lead to big gains.
They need to be able to block a variety of defensive players, including nickelbacks, outside linebackers, and safeties. This is a vital skill that they need to have, as their alignment near the middle of the field means that they will often have to deal with blitzes from these positions.
Slot receivers are usually shorter and stockier than the outside wide receivers on a team, and they have to be strong and tough to handle the physical demands of the position. They also need to have a high level of awareness on the field and be able to know when defenders are coming their way.