I've had questions about football terms that are used in broadcasting, and I'm going to take time to mention them in my blog.
Have one you want to ask? Email me at email@example.com
The first question is "what is a slot receiver?"
The rules are that you must line up 7 men on the line of scrimmage (the imaginary line that goes across the field where the ball is; or which TV shows you as the blue line). And the players at either end of the line must be "eligible" (that is, can go out for a pass; basically meaning not offensive linemen).
Finally, a player who is lined up at the line of scrimmage inside of the last player would not be eligible to receive a pass.
So, the way you can make him eligible is to have him take a step behind the line; everyone behind the line of srimmage is eligible, techincally (though there are some rules about the numbers players wear and whether they are eligible; that's for another time).
Because he is behind the line, and not in the backfield, they call that "the slot" because it literally is a slot along the offensive line that is created by where he's standing.
So, in this case, you have the player at the right of the offensive line in the slot - and the "near" receiver, and the player at the top is the "wide" receiver.
There is one caveat to this: a "tight" receiver (or tight end) might lineup along the offensive line. Since they want to make him eligible, they will have the wide receiver take a step back behind the line. But, that wide receiver is not lined up in the slot, because he is all the way at the end of the line.
[our respects to CBS, the NFL, and the Dolphins]