Slots – The Slot Wide Receiver
In the context of airport coordination, a slot is an authorization to take-off or land at a specific time, limited by air traffic control clearance and/or other constraints. It is used in the United States and around the world to manage air traffic flow at busy airports and prevent repeated delays resulting from too many aircraft trying to take off or land simultaneously.
Like all wide receivers, the Slot receiver runs routes and catches passes, but also acts as a blocker on running plays. Unlike most outside wide receivers, the Slot receiver will often line up closer to the middle of the field, a few steps off the line of scrimmage. This pre-snap alignment gives the Slot receiver the ability to get a step on defenders before they run their routes, and allows them to be more agile and flexible in route running.
The Slot position requires more specialized skills than the other wide receiver positions. In addition to their passing abilities, Slot receivers must have a strong understanding of the game plan and the defensive coverage they will face. They must be able to anticipate the defense and read the coverage, which takes practice and communication with the quarterback. They are also a critical component of the blocking game, and need to be able to block (or chip) nickelbacks, outside linebackers, safeties, and sometimes even perform a crack back block on defensive ends.
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