Slot – The Modern Wide Receiver

A slot is an authorization to take-off or land at a specific airport on a given day during a specified time period, as a way to manage air traffic congestion. It is typically granted to flights at highly busy airports to avoid repeated delays caused by too many planes trying to take off or land at the same time.

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While the Slot receiver is usually used on passing plays, he can also act as a running back from time to time — especially on pitch or end-around runs. Due to their pre-snap motion and their location on the field, they’re often responsible for blocking (or at least chipping) nickelbacks, safetys, and outside linebackers.

In addition to their ability to stretch the defense with their speed, Slot receivers can run shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. This helps them to make themselves more valuable to the offense, as it allows the quarterback to throw to them on routes that wouldn’t be possible with a wide receiver. They are also a key part of the running game, as they can help to seal off the defense on running plays designed to go outside the field.