🍒 Ranking the NFL's best slot receivers

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Not until recently has there been much emphasis on the slot receiver in the NFL. Jerry Rice worked out of the slot occasionally and he is the best WR ever.


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Had he played entirely in the NFL, it's likely that his pure stats would've been better. One of the underrated receivers in New England Patriots history. Fitting that he's one slot higher than an Oakland Raider, since those two teams were.


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Slot Receiver Techniques and Skills

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Cynthia Frelund projects the top 10 slot receivers for the NFL season. Will JuJu Smith-Schuster shine without Antonio Brown? Is Adam.


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NFL Wr Tips: Short Receiver How To beat man to man ([email protected])

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Had he played entirely in the NFL, it's likely that his pure stats would've been better. One of the underrated receivers in New England Patriots history. Fitting that he's one slot higher than an Oakland Raider, since those two teams were.


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The slot receiver position is more highly prized than at any time in NFL history. Here are the 11 best in the game.


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Is Jarvis Landry the NFL's Best Slot Receiver? (Week 7) - Next Gen Stats: Anatomy of a Play - NFL

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Not until recently has there been much emphasis on the slot receiver in the NFL. Jerry Rice worked out of the slot occasionally and he is the best WR ever.


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Football Fundamentals: The Different Types Of Receivers

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Cynthia Frelund projects the top 10 slot receivers for the NFL season. Will JuJu Smith-Schuster shine without Antonio Brown? Is Adam.


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Best of Wide Receiver Workouts at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine

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Not until recently has there been much emphasis on the slot receiver in the NFL. Jerry Rice worked out of the slot occasionally and he is the best WR ever.


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Top 5 Wide Receivers with the Best Hands in the NFL

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Ranking the NFL's best slot receivers. Headshot_Author_Gregg_Rosenthal__png. Gregg Rosenthal. Around The NFL Editor.


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Top 5 slot receivers in the NFL - PFF

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Had he played entirely in the NFL, it's likely that his pure stats would've been better. One of the underrated receivers in New England Patriots history. Fitting that he's one slot higher than an Oakland Raider, since those two teams were.


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Top 10 Wide Receivers in NFL History

It wasn't always so. Josh Norman's activism.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} He could then use the two receivers and tailback to get to three levels of the defense. In order to stop more horrific injuries like Collie's, though, all options must be on the table. First, they limited cornerbacks to one "chuck" of each receiver. Walsh and the 49ers could pound away with the running game—or get vertical. Walsh, Rice and the 49ers moved the chains, kept third downs short and wore out defenses with advanced route packages, precision route running and sure hands. It just so happens that the faster those two receivers are, the more of the field that defense has to cover. Coaches and players that could teach and execute these ideas were rare. Joiner was the forerunner of the modern "slot ninja. Walsh's offense expanded upon what Gillman and Davis had done while also pulling from his time under legendary Browns head coach Paul Brown. Then, in , they implemented the five-yard contact zone. This strategy might work, or it may make things worse. The league also loosened rules on pass-blocking, giving quarterbacks better protection. It shouldn't surprise that Walsh admired Joiner; he exhibited the same blend of toughness, talent and football IQ that Walsh had in Jerry Rice. Back in the s, football was much closer to its rugby roots. Coryell used athletic Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow like a wide receiver, putting him in motion and using him in deep route packages. Rice played on the outside, as the flanker, but Walsh coached all of his receivers to have that slot mentality. Sid Gillman, the legendary San Diego Chargers head coach, revolutionized the NFL by stretching the field horizontally and vertically with five "receivers. If the NFL tries widening the field to save slot receivers, though, they could be in for a trial by fire. Coryell had two big targets in John Jefferson and Wes Chandler, but he also had Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner, and he used all four of them in different combinations. As more spread-based four- and five-receiver offensive sets and packages work their way into the NFL, more defenses will employ shifting, multi-set "amoeba" fronts—which sometimes forgo down linemen completely to blanket the field in zone defenders. Instead of forcing the ball to a star player, Gillman taught his quarterbacks to read coverages and throw to where they knew defenders wouldn't, or couldn't be. When defenders are locked in man coverage, they're engaged at close range with the receiver. Violent hits to the head, neck and chest happen when linebackers and safeties are flying at you from opposite directions. As Brown wrote in another Grantland story, Cruz's success in New York's offense should be no surprise: Kevin Gilbride is drawing up the plays there, and the Run 'n Shoot was the foundation for the Giants' prolific passing offense. With just one running back, Coryell could use Winslow in combination with three wide receivers. However, beginning in , the NFL made a series of rule changes that would change all of that forever. Wes Welker , Victor Cruz and Collie have become masters of slipping the slimmer creases in between modern defenders and using game-breaking speed to make defenses pay whether they catch it five or 50 yards downfield. Walsh discovered that short passing routes, timed and executed to perfection, could act like a running game. It's no surprise, then, that a great slot receiver is a game-changer. In a November game, Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie lay stricken on the ground, arms involuntarily held in the " fencing response " pose that indicates brain trauma:. If nothing changes, slot receivers will replace running backs as the "disposable" skill position player: draft a fast guy; plug him in; cut him when he loses a step, shreds a knee or breaks his brain. In Week 3, he ruptured his patellar tendon, cutting his season short with awful injuries for a second year in a row. By giving slot receivers much more space to work with, in theory, there will be far fewer high-velocity hits on defenseless players just trying to make a catch and hold on to the ball. When defenses began to soften and tire, Rice would break away for long gains after the catch. Don Coryell, the head coach at San Diego State while Gillman was the head coach of the Chargers, had been studying, using and expanding upon Gillman's concepts. In , Coryell worked his way up to his mentor's old position: San Diego Chargers head coach. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Walsh and his students and successors shredded defenses; we now know his legacy as "the West Coast offense. Kiffin covered the short and intermediate routes with five shallow zones across the middle of the field and used athletic outside linebacker Derrick Brooks to cover athletic tight ends—and suddenly overmatched slot receivers. As Chris Brown of Grantland. Davis hired another bright young assistant in a Stanford man named Bill Walsh. Gillman had an assistant who took these concepts to the next level, literally, with speed: Al Davis. The most important play of Collie's season, though, was one he wished didn't happen. When defenders are on the prowl, sprinting from several yards away to meet the receiver at the ball, bad things happen:. The NFL is known as a "copycat league," but the brutal, physical defenses of the day including Oakland's own made it tough to implement advanced passing concepts and timing routes throughout the league. When your job is to get into the spaces between defenders, you end up between defenders. Gillman and his assistants and students were finally able to stretch the field, and their success was unprecedented. Between the Tampa 2 and the zone blitz , defenses across the NFL moved away from the "stacked boxes" and man coverage that had always dominated football and dropped more players into zones, patrolling the wide-open spaces of the field into which modern offenses were trying to throw. Davis invented what he called the "slot" formation, where both receivers would line up on the weak side. This is how Davis's offense was a "vertical" offense: not receivers running all go routes, but route combinations that make the defense defend as much of the length of the field as possible. The dizzying zone blitz developed by then-Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau made pre-snap reads much harder. He was explosively quick, ran precise routes, had great hands and was tough enough to absorb hits from linebackers and safeties in the heart of the NFL's steroid era. Collie was stretchered off, and every football fan watching it felt their stomach churn. Many young football fans know Davis only by stereotype: a guy obsessed with the long-bomb passing game, big-armed quarterbacks and receivers with fast yard dash times. Here's a Davis combination Madden players know still gets yards in chunks today—the outside receiver running a deep square-in, while the slot receiver runs a go route:. With so much ground to cover, defenses could be forced into full-time zones, meaning more defenders are doing more sprinting to keep receivers from shredding them across the middle of the field. Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame , Walsh called Joiner "The most intelligent, the smartest, the most calculating receiver the game has ever known. Decades down the road, the legendary Raiders head coach and owner's obsession with speed would become a caricature, a joke. One of the biggest plays of Super Bowl XLVII was slot receiver Jacoby Jones blazing through the vaunted 49ers defense for a yard touchdown, beating them with speed and great route-running ability down the seam and with incredible post-catch moves:. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Anyone who saw it happen will never forget it. Gillman's "coaching tree" is awe-inspiring:. These high-speed receivers darting in and out of defensive zones are at the highest risk for high-speed collisions. Most of all, though, Joiner was smart. The battle at the line of scrimmage was most of the war; two wide receivers would fight one-on-one against the cornerbacks on either side.