A slot is a narrow notch or groove on the surface of a piece of machinery or equipment. It may be a slit or opening in the case of a coin machine, and it may be a window on the face of an air control panel in an aircraft or space shuttle.
In sports, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who plays in the slot formation. They are shorter and stockier than traditional wide receivers, and they are able to run more complex routes than outside receivers. They are often a key part of the offensive playbook and can also serve as a decoy for other wide receivers.
Several of the top receivers in the NFL line up in the slot, including Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins, and Stefon Diggs. These players often see more targets than their respective No. 2 or No. 1 receivers, and they can sometimes gain more stats as a result of their time in the slot.
They are also a crucial cog in the offensive block, as they often have to know where defenders are located on the field. This helps them run the right route and evade tackles, which can lead to big plays in the end zone.
The slot formation is an offshoot of the Sid Gillman strategy, which was introduced in 1963 by Al Davis, a coach who coached the Oakland Raiders. The slot formation allows an offense to attack the weak side of a defense, while still attacking the other two levels of the defense (line of scrimmage, linebackers).
This strategy has been adopted by many teams over the past few years. For example, the Buccaneers have used the slot formation on 40 percent of their passing attempts in recent seasons.
There are a number of reasons why this is happening. The most common is that slot receivers are able to see more targets than the No. 2 or No. 1 receivers on their team, and some of these players can even outperform them.
These receivers are also able to elude tackles, which can make them a huge decoy for other players in the offense. This can lead to big plays in the end zone and allow the offense to score more touchdowns.
In addition to being a great decoy, the slot receiver is also a good receiver in the passing game. They are able to catch the ball quickly, and they can also be tougher than their outside counterparts. This allows them to withstand the hard hits that defenders usually give them.
They are also able to be a great target in the running game, as they can get open in the middle of the field. They are also a good option on laterals, as they can be moved from one side of the field to the other without much trouble.
These receivers are a great addition to any offense, and they are a key cog in the offensive playbook. They are also a great option for teams that need to create turnovers on the ground or in the air, and can help them win their games in both ways.