When the first slot was introduced by Bill Davis at the Raiders in 1962, he wanted to create a more precise wide receiver position. He envisioned players who were quick and had great hands, so they could make the complex routes needed to play in that position. This strategy proved successful and the position became what it is today. It is a vital component to the success of many NFL teams.
While they can be utilized in a variety of offensive sets, slot receivers are most often seen on three-receiver offenses. They have the ability to run routes up, in, and out and also need to be precise with their timing. Having great chemistry with the quarterback is a must for these players. They must also be adept at blocking, as they are a crucial cog in the offensive blocking wheel and can help prevent defensive backs from making big plays.
They need to be versatile as well, as they will be asked to act like a running back at times. This may include pitch plays, reverses, or end-arounds. On these types of plays, they will usually be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback and then quickly hand off the ball or act as a decoy for the running back to get open behind them.
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