A slot is a specific authorization to take off or land at a particular airport on a given day during a specified time period. Slots are used in the United States and around the world to manage air traffic at extremely busy airports, to prevent repeated and unnecessary delays caused by too many planes trying to take off or land at the same time.
A football team isn’t complete without a reliable, versatile, and talented slot receiver. These players line up a few yards behind the wideout, are able to run just about any route on the field, and often have better stats than the No. 1 or No. 2 receivers on the team. Tyler Boyd, Cooper Kupp, and CeeDee Lamb are just a few examples of great slot receivers in the NFL.
Unlike the traditional “wide receiver,” a slot player is shorter, stockier, and tougher. This allows them to run routes that are more physical than those typically ran by wide receivers, and to catch passes that are thrown behind the line of scrimmage. Because of this, they must be able to run every type of route and be precise with their timing. Lastly, they need to be a good blocker.
The slot position was largely developed by former Raiders head coach Sid Gillman in 1963, and further refined by John Madden as he became the team’s quarterback in 1969. Gillman’s vision was to line up two wide receivers outside and a running back in the middle, and attack all three levels of the defense with speed and precision.
Because of their unique skillset and location on the field, slot receivers are sometimes asked to carry the ball like a running back. This can happen on pitch plays, reverses, or end-arounds. In this situation, they will be called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback, and must run fast to beat the defenders to the ball. Additionally, they are often asked to act as a blocker on outside run plays.
Slot is one of the most important positions in the game, and the best slots have a special combination of speed, route running ability, and precise timing. They also need to have excellent chemistry with their quarterback and be a willing blocker. If all of these traits are present, the results are often spectacular. It’s no wonder that the most successful slot receivers often have some of the highest touchdown counts in the league.