Slot Receivers in the NFL
A slot is a small opening or slit, usually for a coin, in a vending machine. Alternatively, the word can refer to two different locations in a rink. It is also used to describe the area between two face-off circles in an offensive zone.
Slots have many uses, including in the air. In airplanes, they provide smooth flow of air on the upper surface. They are also used to manage traffic in busy airports.
Slots are also used in field hockey. The low slot is the area right in front of the goaltender. This allows a wrist shot with a clear view of the net.
Slot receivers are becoming increasingly common in the NFL. While they are a vital part of passing offenses, they are also a crucial piece of defense. Their ability to block defenders makes them effective in catch and run games. But, slot receivers also create mismatches downfield, which can confuse defenses and cause them to switch formations.
Slot receivers can also serve as check-downs for quarterbacks, and they can be an outlet receiver. Their speed can stretch defense vertically. Players such as Branden Cooks and Tyreek Hill are able to do this with pure speed.
Slot receivers can also be used in place of a fullback or tight end. In some situations, they may even be used to block defenders on the line of scrimmage.
Many teams use slot receivers to help protect the quarterback. When a defender breaks through the line of scrimmage, the slot receiver can pick them up.