Slots are the area in between face-off circles in an offensive zone. These areas have a higher probability of scoring than other places in the field. A slot receiver’s position is similar to a wide receiver.
A slot receiver is usually used in a catch and run game. The player runs short routes and looks to generate mismatches against linebackers. They also protect the quarterback, and may be called upon to block defenders.
Slot receivers are typically nimble, quick, and effective. They are able to pick up defensive linemen who are breaking through the line of scrimmage. They can also be used to create mismatches downfield.
In the NFL, slot receivers are becoming more prevalent. They are more quick than wide receivers, and are able to catch and run short passes. They are mainly used to create multiple ball receiver formations.
In a pass-heavy offense, slot receivers are a key way to create mismatches in the open field. They also run slants and other shorter routes on a route tree. In the open field, slot receivers can be effective in creating a checkdown for the quarterback.
When a team has a slot receiver on the field, defending defenses may need to switch formations or add additional defensive backs to defend the slot. This can be confusing for defenders who are not used to seeing a lot of receivers in the same area.
In the NFL, slot receivers may also be referred to as slotbacks. These players are typically used in place of a fullback.