Slot Receivers in the NFL
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Slot receivers are a hot commodity in the NFL today. They are a vital part of the offense, and can help teams attack all three levels of the defense. They are usually shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers, and can run a variety of routes. However, their main responsibility is to work closely with the quarterback.
In addition to running routes, slot receivers often act as ball carriers on pitch plays and reverses. They may even be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and be used as a decoy on certain running plays. For this reason, they must have excellent footwork and speed.
Because of their physical attributes, slot receivers must be able to absorb contact and have reliable hands. They also need to have good awareness of the field. This allows them to recognize which defenders are coming toward them, and make adjustments accordingly.
Slot receivers must also be able to block well. Although they are not expected to deal crushing blocks like offensive linemen, they do need to be able to position themselves well in order to protect the ball carrier. They are a vital cog in the blocking wheel for offenses, and can help teams get more yards on the ground.
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