The Slot Position in Football


A slot is a narrow opening, a place or time when something can happen. In football, the slot is the area between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers and the offensive linemen. This is also the spot where a running back lines up for pitch plays and end-arounds.

Slot receivers are a key cog in the offense because they help attack all three levels of the defense. They need to have advanced route running skills and a good understanding of how to work with the quarterback to create separation against defensive coverage. In addition, they must be able to block effectively, especially in space. This is because they can be vulnerable to big hits from defensive backs, who can come in unblocked on many occasions.

The slot position was originally conceived by Sid Gillman, who was a famed college coach in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a pioneer in the use of multiple receivers and an inside-outside combo in the spread offense. He believed that his team could be more successful if the offense had an inside receiver who was responsible for catching short passes and intermediate routes, while the outside receivers attacked the deep middle of the field.

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