Slot Reception Skills


When a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot on the machine, the reels spin to rearrange symbols. If a combination matches the pay table, the player earns credits based on the payout schedule. Symbols vary by theme but classics include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens.

Whether they are used in the middle of the field or on an outside run play, a team’s slot receiver must be able to make open space count and get into position to catch the ball when the defense closes. They must have excellent route running skills and precise timing to be effective in this role, and they need great chemistry with the quarterback. Slot receivers must also be able to block well, especially when they are lined up without a fullback or extra tight end to help protect them.

Most slot receivers are shorter and quicker than other wide receivers, but there are exceptions. Generally, slot receivers need to be small and quick enough to outrun defenders but tough enough to break tackles. They are also usually the first receiver to block for a running back or a wideout on an outside run play, so they need to be good at that too. They must be able to pick up blitzes from linebackers or secondary players and prevent them from gaining too much ground on the runner. They should also be able to block defenders from the middle of the field without allowing them to penetrate too deeply into the red zone.