Slot receivers have the advantage of being decoys, stretching the defense vertically, and possessing excellent speed and hands. As such, they must be able to master almost every type of passing route. In this article, we will explore why a slot receiver is so important for a team. This article also offers a few tips for developing this type of receiver.
Slot receivers are decoys
Slot receivers are typically a bit smaller than wide receivers and run routes in the middle of the field to create mismatches against linebackers. They should have good hands and quickness, but the slot’s success depends on his teammates’ play. Slot receivers can be decoyed by playing well with their teammates. They must also be lined up near the boundary cornerback, who is usually a bigger player. A slot receiver’s role is especially important during outside running plays.
Slot receivers usually operate in high-traffic areas. They often get called into pre-snap motions by the quarterback to gain a better read on the defense. This helps them avoid the best tacklers. They may also run routes or act as a blocker on a running play.
They stretch the defense vertically
Slots are used to stretch the defense vertically and attack deep downfield. The goal is to put pressure on the defense’s deep defensive backs, as they usually give up some cushion for wide receivers to run down the field. Slots can stretch the defense in a vertical or horizontal fashion, depending on the defense’s scheme and the receiver’s skills.
The inside slot receiver must angle up to clear the safeties, leaving space for the quarterback to throw the ball downfield. The secondary shows five across on the snap and rotates into a Tampa 2 robber post snap. This leaves the safety with two verticals, one on the hash and one on the sideline. Using the outside vertical, Mahomes threw to the slot for a touchdown.
They need to master just about every passing route
A slot receiver must be able to master just about every passing route to be effective. This position gives the quarterback room to read his defense and is often used on end-arounds and pitch plays. In addition, a slot receiver can be used as a running back, so they need to know how to block for running plays and stay close to defensive positions.
Slot receivers need to be agile and fast to make a good catch, and they also need to be able to dip and duck between coverage. They also need to be able to find open areas quickly, and they need to have excellent timing with the quarterback.