Wide receiver is one of the most exciting positions on the football field. Teams are passing more and more overall, and wide receivers are playing an important role at all levels.
Where Do They Line Up?
Wide receivers follow their namesake most of the time, and they're the widest players in the offensive formation. They can line up on either side, or both on one side. In a standard formation, there are two wide receivers on each side.
What Does a Wide Receiver Do?
These guys' primary responsibility is catching the football and gaining yardage. But they also have responsibility to block on certain run plays. On some plays, a wide receiver is required to "run off," which is where he runs hard like he's running a deep route. This will usually take the corner and one of the safeties out of range of an underneath route.
Who Should Play?
Wide receivers are a diverse group, with size and strength varying through the ranks. However, height is important, as it gains a receiver an advantage over a shorter cornerback. Speed and quickness are important for getting away from defenders and being open for passes.
How To Be A Great Wide Receiver
To be a great receiver, you've got to hone your skills constantly. It's not enough to be tall and fast. The fundamentals of catching the football have to be second nature to you. You have to know the mechanics of a good route, and how to get open, even when you're up against great defenders. You've got to work on your strength, so that this year, you're stronger than you were last year, and next year, you'll be stronger than you are this year. You also have to study defenses. The best receivers know how to adjust their assigned routes depending on the coverage the defense gives you.