A Slot (colloquial) is an authorization to take-off or land at an airport during a specific time period. In the United States and worldwide, slots are used to coordinate air traffic at busy airports in order to avoid repeated delays that can occur when too many flights try to take off or land at the same time.
In computing, a slot (also known as an expansion slot) is an interface for adding hardware capabilities to a computer system. Most modern desktop computers come with a number of expansion slots for adding new functionality. These slots allow for the installation of plug-in cards that add specialized functions, such as video acceleration or disk drive control.
The Slot receiver is a position in the NFL that is rapidly growing in popularity, as offenses begin to run more three-receiver sets. A good Slot receiver will have a versatile route tree that allows him to play all levels of the defense, and he’ll also be a key blocker on running plays.
Traditionally, the Slot receiver has been an under-appreciated position on most teams. This is because the position requires a specific type of player: one who’s fast, has excellent hands, and can run precise routes. In addition, Slot receivers are usually shorter and a bit smaller than outside wide receivers, making them harder to defend physically.
But with the rise of teams such as the Eagles and the Steelers that specialize in using multiple wide receivers, the Slot position has become a vital part of the game. Having a reliable Slot receiver can make the difference between winning and losing on any given play.
A Slot receiver is a specialist in the passing game who lines up pre-snap between the last offensive tackle or tight end and the outside wide receiver. This spot is called the “slot,” which is how the position got its name. The Slot receiver’s job is to run precise routes that match up with the other wide receivers in the formation, helping to confuse the defense. On running plays, he’s an important blocking blocker on sweeps and slants, as well as a crucial component of a running back’s protection on outside-oriented plays.
A Slot receiver also needs to have an advanced understanding of the defensive alignments on the field. This is because he’ll typically line up near the middle of the field and will have to account for nickelbacks, outside linebackers, safeties, and sometimes even cornerbacks. Without a good understanding of these players, he’ll be at a disadvantage in his ability to read the game and create big plays on both sides of the ball.