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Traditionally, players dropped coins into slot machines to activate them. In recent years, slot machines have evolved from mechanical three-reel devices to electronic games using random number generator software. They have also become more sophisticated, offering a wide variety of themes and bonus features.
The Slot Receiver got its name because of where it lines up on the field pre-snap: between the tight end or offensive tackle and the outside wide receiver. This allows them to run more routes, both inside and outside, short and deep, because they are closer to the line of scrimmage than other wide receivers.
In addition to their route-running skills, the Slot receiver must excel at blocking. Because of their alignment and the defensive positions they are often blocking, slot receivers must be able to pick up blitzes quickly and block safeties or outside linebackers effectively on running plays designed to the outside area of the field.
Occasionally, the Slot receiver will even be asked to carry the ball like a running back on pitch plays or reverses. When this happens, they must be able to get the ball in their hands quickly and outrun the defense. Similarly, when they aren’t carrying the ball or catching passes, Slot receivers will often act as blockers for both the RB and the wideout on running plays such as sweeps and slants.