The slot is the area between and slightly behind the outside wide receivers and offensive linemen. It is a highly specialized position that requires advanced ability to slot demo run routes and timing plays. It also requires a high level of awareness, as the player must know which defenders are where on the field in order to execute complex blocking schemes.
In addition to these skills, the slot receiver must be able to block effectively, especially on running plays. They must be able to read defensive alignments and recognize when they are being blitzed by the defense, and they should be able to get open on short, intermediate, or long routes. The slot receiver must also be able to run quick, explosive cuts and route combinations to make sure they are always in the right place at the right time to catch the ball.
The slot position was pioneered by Sid Gillman, who was the Raiders head coach from 1963 to 1966 and then again from 1969 to 1978. He used a combination of two wide receivers, with one on the outside and the other in the slot, to attack all levels of the defense, including the linebackers and secondary. This gave rise to the modern offense we see today, which is based heavily on the slot receiver position.