A slot is an authorization for a plane to take off or land at a particular airport on a given day during a specified time period. It’s a key tool used by air traffic control at extremely busy airports to manage the volume of flights and prevent the kind of repeated delays that often occur when too many planes try to take off or land at the same time.
The Slot position is one of the most important positions on any NFL team, and players in this spot have some unique responsibilities. They must have good hands and excellent route running skills, but they’re also responsible for blocking for other players on running plays like sweeps and slants. And because of the way they line up and their pre-snap motion, Slot receivers are at greater risk for getting hit by blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.
In addition, they’re often called upon to carry the ball as well, on pitches and reverses and end-arounds. As such, they need to be able to run crisp routes that are designed to confuse the defense. Slot receivers normally look different from wide receivers, as they’re usually shorter and stockier and need to be more robust in order to block.
Slot receivers are very versatile players and have a huge impact on the effectiveness of an offense. They’re typically the second-most targeted receivers on a team, after the No. 1 wideout, and are responsible for a huge chunk of a team’s passing production. The most successful slot receivers in history include Wayne Chrebet, Wes Welker, and Charlie Joiner.