A slot is a narrow opening or groove in something. It is also a term for a position within a group, series or sequence. A slot can also be a place where something fits, such as a slot on an airplane wing or in the tail section, where it provides airflow to the auxiliary airfoil. A slot can also refer to a position in an organization or hierarchy, such as the slot assigned to an airline pilot at an airport.
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In the NFL, a slot corner is a defensive back who is tasked with covering a specific receiver on offense. Often times, teams will use the slot corner in conjunction with their dime package to counteract the speed of wide receivers. Because of this, slot corners must be well conditioned and possess the athletic ability to cover fast receivers from various directions.
The Slot in Football
In recent seasons, the number of NFL teams that have relied on the slot receiver has increased. As a result, these players have become more of a focus for opposing defenses. They are usually shorter and quicker than traditional wide receivers, which allows them to run routes that require a high degree of agility and evasion. To excel in the slot, a player must have excellent hands, footwork and route recognition. In addition, he or she must be able to quickly change direction and make adjustments on the fly. This can be difficult to do with traditional tackling techniques, so it’s important for slot corners to employ both press coverage and off-man coverage. With a good mix of these skills, the slot corner can be an invaluable asset to any team.