The slot is the area of the field that is between and slightly behind wide receivers who are lined up outside the line of scrimmage. Slot receivers are smaller than outside wide receivers and have a different skill set. They can run shorter routes on the route tree and are more effective in the run game. They are also more effective at tracking the ball and making receptions. In the NFL, there are a number of slot receivers who have emerged as top players, including Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks.
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The slot is a position that can be very important in both passing and running plays. On pass plays, the slot is able to run a variety of routes that can confuse the defense and open up big holes for other receivers. On running plays, the slot is crucial in blocking (or chipping) defensive backs, safeties, and nickelbacks. He is also an important blocker for the ball carrier on running plays designed to the outside of the field, such as slants and sweeps.