In American football, purpose of motioning the slot receiver


While watching a play with the New England Patriots you often see the z receiver or slot receiver (correct me if they aren't equivalent terms) motion towards the quarterback but then moves back to his original position?

To me as a outsider, it seemed pointless that he moved to near the center position and then back to his original spot.

Wikipedia does discuss the purpose motioning but it speaks about changing formations. If the receiver moves to his original position the formation is the same.

Also, I could see motioning to the other side would make sense to provide extra protection for a screen to a running back play.

During the presnap is there a purpose for motioning the slot receiver toward the center and back to his original position? Is it to test the defensive...

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An example of a wide receiver's positioning in an offensive formation: Split End (SE), Slot Back (SB), Slot Receiver (SR), and Flanker (FL) position.

A wide receiver (also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers) is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is the key player in most of the passing plays. They get their name because they are split out "wide" (near the sidelines), farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

The wide receiver's principal role is to catch passes from the quarterback. On passing plays, the receiver attempts to avoid, outmaneuver, or simply outrun defenders (typically cornerbacks and/or safeties) in the area of his pass route. If the receiver becomes open, or has an unobstructed path to the destination of a catch, he may then become the quarterback's target. Once a pass is thrown in his direction, the...

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Slotback (sometimes referred to as an A-back or, especially in the United States, slot receiver) is a position in gridiron football. The "slot" is the area between the last offensive lineman on either side of the center and the wide receiver on that side. A player who lines up between those two players and behind the line of scrimmage is a slotback. The position is a fixture of Canadian football and indoor football, but is also used in American football. The slotback is similar to the wide receiver but also has many of the same traits as a running back or tight end; a slotback lines up closer to the offensive line and often farther back than a wide receiver.

Slotbacks are often as many as five yards behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped and, in the Canadian and indoor game, may also make a running start toward the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. (In most forms of American football, this would be an illegal motion, although a few professional leagues such...

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switch corner 14/15 navy (2 man army) texas (2 man houston) nebraska double post true switch/streak (true vertical concept) cross (shallow concept) delay (smash concept) main tags: single receiver: pivot (run it hitch at 8 yards) slant (5 step) 14/15 (hitch/fade/back shoulder read) turn (short comeback: 10 back to 8) 2 receiver: h/y out (fade-speed out concept) x/z quick out (double speed out concept) h/y hook (option/comeback concept) h/y sail (smash concept) x/z fade (fade-flat concept) 3 receiver: h/y corner (curl/flat/corner concept) quick: thunder (double qk outs) lighting (triple slants/double slants)


We are pretty much 4 down plus a mike...1/2 slide to the shade side. BOB to 3 tech. back responsible for everyone else. Hot off 2 to the back Against 3 down we typically name 2 mikes. Skip a backer in between. So if I tagged them from the boundary it would be Bandit, Will, Mike, and Spur. We would mike bandit/mike or...

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A slot back is basically a slot receiver who lines up in the backfield.

This page is pretty instructional.

It says:
"The flanker can also become a slot receiver or slot back. If he’s positioned between the split end and a tackle, his name changes. The coach can take out a tight end, making a slot back the third receiver, attempting to create mismatches with the defense. But even in a standard set that includes a tight end, the receiver can line up between the split end and the tackle and be called a slot back. This gives him a few steps running start before the defender can smack him one."

Wikipedia says a slot back is:
"A receiver lining up in the offensive back field. Canadian and Arena football allow them to take a running start at the line. They are usually larger players as they need to make catches over the middle. In American football slot backs are typically used in flexbone or other triple option offenses...

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According to, former NFL Head of Officials Jerry Markbreit answered a similar question with: "To become an eligible pass receiver a

…nd have the ability to go legally in motion, a T-formation quarterback must assume the position of a backfield player as in a Shotgun, Single Wing, or Double Wing Formation and be at least one yard behind the line of scrimmage at the snap. If the quarterback goes in motion from the T, he will be penalized for illegal motion and he will also not be eligible to catch a forward pass." In other words, if the quarterback takes the snap standing directly behind the center, he is not eligible to receive a pass. If the quarterback takes the snap in the shotgun formation or is at least one yard behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, he is eligible to be a pass receiver....
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