Slot Receivers in the NFL

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The NFL has become more and more reliant on the slot receiver in recent seasons, with the position becoming one of the most valuable positions in the game. These players are important to the offense because they give quarterbacks a versatile and reliable target that can run a variety of routes. They are also essential to blocking for running plays to the outside.

Slot receivers are generally smaller and faster than traditional wideouts, making them able to catch passes at high speeds and gain yards after the catch. Their speed is especially useful when they are running routes to the outside, where they can fly past the secondary and safety. Slot receivers also need to have good hands, as they often receive a lot of contact when they are catching the ball.

In addition to catching and blocking, slot receivers are sometimes asked to carry the ball like a running back on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. They are usually called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and then have to be able to beat defenders to the football. They also need to be able to block effectively, picking up blitzes from linebackers and safeties and chipping on outside run plays, so that the running back can get more space.

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