What Is A Slot Receiver – Football Terminology

A slot receiver is a position in football that lines up in between the offensive lineman and the wide receiver standing near the sideline. A slot receiver is responsible for catching passes and are often small statured players that rely on quickness and agility to get open.

Why Are They Called Slot Receivers?

The reason this position is called a slot receiver is because of where on the field this player starts. As well as this positions responsibility on the field. 

The “slot” is the area between the last offensive lineman on either side and the wide receiver.

Since this is the area where a slot receiver starts a play this how they earned the “slot” portion of the name.

And much like a wide receiver a slot receiver has the job of catching the football. Also known as a reception. Since this player plays in the slot and receives the ball through the air they are known as “slot receivers”.

What Is The Difference between a slot receiver and a wide receiver?

The main difference between slot receivers and wide receivers is where they line up. As you likely guessed wide receivers line up near the sideline while slot receivers line up in the slot.

There are several other differences between slot receivers and wide receivers but the most noticeable is their stature. 

You will notice when watching football games wide receivers are often some of the tallest and fastest players on the field. While slot receivers don’t usually have great straight line speed and are often 5’10 or shorter.

This is because these players often use different strategies in order to get open. Wide receivers tend to use straight-line speed and strength to get open. While slot receivers are more likely to use quick cuts or jukes to find open space on the field.

What Is The Role Of A Slot Receiver?

Typically the role of slot receiver is to get open for short yardage gains. These receivers utilize their quickness and dexterity to get open for an easy pass for their quarterback. 

When playing a zone defense these receivers will often find a hole in between the zones where they will not be covered.

When it is man coverage a slot receiver will use his quickness to attempt to get away from their defender. 

A slot receiver is valuable for short yardage situations in which a team needs to pick up a few yards for a first down. 

Are Slot Receivers Fast?

For the most part slot receivers aren’t fast but they are quick. What we mean by this is they do not typically have great straight line speed. 

In the forty yard dash, these receivers would not perform very well. Though they typically score very well in a three cone drill.

This means these receivers are able to change direction and accelerate quickly. This is beneficial to the position as they are not often running at their top speed.

What Routes do Slot Receivers Run?

These quick receivers typically run much shorter routes than other receivers.  Dig routes, drag routes, and hooks are common routes run by slot receivers. 

These routes are completed quickly and allow the quarterback a quick short yardage option if needed.

Leave a Comment