A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. The term comes from the fact that a Slot receiver lines up slightly in the backfield, just off the line of scrimmage, giving him more opportunities to run routes and get open than some outside wide receivers might be able to.
The Slot receiver position was pioneered by legendary NFL coach Chuck Davis, who emphasized speed and precision in the way he trained his players at the University of Alabama. He wanted his players to be quick and nimble in route running, so they could beat coverage and win jump balls. Davis’s approach worked, and many teams now use the Slot receiver in their offenses.
Another way that Slot receivers are different from outside wide receivers is in the way they receive the ball. Most of the time, they are lined up in the backfield and will receive a short pass from the quarterback, either handed off or pitched. This gives them more time and space to make a play, as opposed to an outside receiver who may have to catch the ball in traffic.
Besides passing, the Slot receiver can also act as a running back on pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds. This requires good hands and precision in their pre-snap motion, so that the defense can’t get a hand on them before they reach the open field. Depending on the situation, the Slot receiver can even be used as a big decoy to draw attention away from other running backs, so they can get free for a run.
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In football, the Slot receiver is sometimes referred to as the second wide receiver, because of his role in the formation. He lines up just a few steps off the line of scrimmage, allowing him to do more in-route runs and get open for deep passes. This allows him to help the team score more points and improve their chances of winning games.
In addition to being a good way to avoid congestion, flow management can save on fuel burn and reduce emissions by keeping airplanes on the ground rather than in the air waiting for the next available slot. Currently, it is only being implemented in Europe, but with the world’s aviation industry expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades, this kind of technology could soon be commonplace around the globe.