The Slot Receiver in the NFL
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The Origin of the Slot Receiver
In 1963, Al Davis took over as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He wanted to improve their offense by setting two wide receivers on the weak side of the defense. He also wanted them to be faster and have great hands.
He based his strategy on Sid Gillman’s, who had won the Super Bowl in 1977 by using a similar formation. This allowed Davis to attack all three levels of the defense – the line of scrimmage, linebackers, and secondary.
During his time as the Raiders’ head coach, Davis adapted Gillman’s strategy and added a third wide receiver in the slot area. This gave the team an extra option to attack their opponents’ backfields, and it was an immediate success.
The slot receiver is an excellent route runner and can be a great pass-catching weapon in the NFL. They run just about every route imaginable and need to be precise with their timing. This also requires a strong sense of chemistry with the quarterback and a good grasp of the playbook.
Speed is a key aspect for the slot receiver, as they need to be able to make it past the secondary when running a go route. They also need to have good hands to be able to catch the ball in the slot.
They can also be effective as a ball carrier for pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds because they have the speed to get out of the backfield quickly. They can also be a key part of the run game, and are typically called on to do this more than other wide receivers.
In terms of a physical stature, slot receivers can be very tall and stocky, but it is not necessary for them to be. They can also have long arms that allow them to block in the open field as well.
They have good chemistry with the quarterback and are usually the best route runners on the team. This is because they are able to pick up the quarterback’s motion and move with it to make things happen.
Their speed can be a huge asset on short, quick passes, as they can break through the gap and get down the field to make big plays.