The slot is a key position in today’s NFL game. This player usually lines up near the center of the field and has great speed and route-running skills, even though he’s typically shorter and smaller than traditional wide receivers. He’s a key blocker on running plays and can help seal off the outside on passing plays, too. The quarterback will either quickly hand the ball off to him or pitch it to him in his pre-snap motion, and then let him run free.
A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. It’s also a term used in computer games to refer to the space on a motherboard where an expansion card can be placed. The slot is often identified by a small indent on the side of the motherboard where it fits.
Slot is also a term used in air traffic management to refer to the time period during which an airline is allowed to fly on a given day at an airport. These slots are issued by EUROCONTROL as part of its role as Network Manager and are based on demand forecasts and runway capacity. Airline slots are traded for huge sums of money and can be very valuable assets.
The slot is an important position in football because it allows the offense to stretch the defense with multiple receiving options. It’s not uncommon to see a team with several talented receivers, including two or three who thrive in the slot. The NFL has seen a big increase in the use of the slot receiver in recent years, and some teams utilize this position more than others. Some notable examples of slot receivers include Tyreek Hill, Wes Welker, and Julian Edelman.