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A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, such as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. It can also refer to a position in a group, series or sequence. In football, a slot receiver is a player who lines up in the middle of the field and is often more open than outside wide receivers. He must be fast and able to run precise routes in order to get open for passing plays. He is also a key blocker on running plays, such as sweeps and slants.
In 1963, the Raiders’ head coach, Al Davis, adopted some of Sid Gillman’s offensive strategies and created the slot receiver position. This allowed him to set two wide receivers in the weak side of the defense and attack all three levels of the defense. He was successful with this strategy and won a Super Bowl in 1977. Today, most teams use a slot receiver as one of their primary receiving options.