Slot Wide Receivers in the NFL
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A player inserts cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot on the machine and activates the reels. The symbols on the reels then spin and stop to create winning combinations. The player receives credits based on the paytable. Many slot games have a theme and feature symbols that are aligned with that theme.
The Slot receiver is a specific wide receiver position that has emerged to replace the traditional fullback as offenses shift toward more space-based schemes. These players are typically smaller and faster than outside wide receivers and have excellent route-running skills. They also are able to block effectively on run plays, especially when they are not the ball carrier.
Like outside wide receivers, the Slot receiver must master all passing routes. However, they are usually required to have more precise routes than their peers due to their size and speed limitations. They are often called into pre-snap motion, meaning they move from one side of the field to the other before the snap, in order to provide the quarterback with a better read on the defense.
In addition to running routes and blocking on run plays, the Slot receiver is also responsible for sealing off the outside of the field on pass coverage. This is particularly important on routes to the outside of the field, such as slants and out patterns.
The Slot position is not without its risks, though. Injuries to Slot receivers are common because of the unique nature of their role in the passing game. They must be able to deal with coverage from multiple directions at once, and they are frequently matched up with linebackers and safeties on running plays. The slot receiver must be able to get open quickly in these situations and make the play.
Slot is becoming more and more prominent in the NFL, as teams shift away from power football and look to utilize smaller, quicker athletes in space-based positions. Players such as Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks are proving that the Slot receiver can be an effective playmaker in the modern game.
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