Slot Receiver

A narrow notch or opening, as in a keyway in machinery or a slot for coins in a vending machine. Also: a position in a schedule or program, such as a time slot for an appointment. (From Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition)

A position in a group, series, or sequence of things. She had a lot on her plate, so she was glad to get an afternoon slot.

In football, a team isn’t complete without a receiver who can play out of the slot. These players line up a few yards behind the wideout and tight end, and they can run just about any route in the game. They have to be incredibly quick and agile in order to get open, but they must also be strong enough to break tackles. And if they can perfect their route running and develop good chemistry with the quarterback, they’re one of the most dangerous weapons in the league.

In addition to running and catching the ball, a good slot receiver is a good blocker. They’ll often pick up blitzes from linebackers and safeties, and they’ll chip on outside run plays to give the running back more space. They’re also critical in sealing off the outside defensive line on passing plays. They can do this by either lining up tight to the defender or running inside toward them. In many cases, slot receivers are the best blocking wideouts in the game.