Slot receivers are smaller players with more agility than wide receivers. They can line up on the opposite side of the offensive line, run slants or quick routes, and create mismatches downfield. In the NFL, slot receivers are increasingly becoming a staple of the game.
Slot receivers can also be used to block defenders and protect the quarterback. Their quickness, nimbleness, and ability to pick up defensive linemen breaking through the line of scrimmage make them an ideal player to have in the open field.
The term “slot” is often interchanged with “air gap.” Air gap is a synonym of German Schloss. Originally, a slot was a narrow opening in a building. Its shape provided a smooth flow of air on an upper surface.
Slot receivers can also be used in place of a fullback or tight end. This is especially useful in the open field, as it allows the quarterback to run a short, direct route to the middle of the field.
Although slot receivers can be used in a variety of ways, their most common use is to create multiple ball receiver formations. This allows a team to have eleven players on the field at a time. A formation with a slot receiver can be difficult to cover, so defenses may have to move formations to keep them covered.
A slot receiver can also be used as a check-down receiver. The receiver can run a straight route or a slant, and can also block a defender.