The Slot Position in Football

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In football, a team is not complete without a receiver that can play out of the slot position. Slot receivers normally line up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and are tasked with blocking (or at least chipping) nickelbacks, outside linebackers and safeties. They can even perform a crack back block on defensive ends, especially on running plays that are designed to the outside.

Slot receivers must have speed, great hands and be precise with their routes to maximize their effectiveness. They also need to have excellent chemistry with the quarterback to be successful. John Madden was an early proponent of the slot receiver position and found much success with it, winning a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1977.

During the 1970s, AFL commissioner Pete Rozelle decided to change the way the game was played. He instructed his coaches to emphasize speed, precision route running and the use of the slot receiver. This led to the creation of what has become one of the most important positions in the NFL.

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