Wide receiver

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A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in gridiron football, and is a key player.wikipedia
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40-yard dash

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Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field.
This was traditionally only true for the "skill" positions such as running back, wide receiver, and defensive back, although now a fast 40-yard dash time is considered important for almost every position.

Route (gridiron football)

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On passing plays, the receiver attempts to avoid, outmaneuver, or simply outrun defenders (typically cornerbacks or safeties) in the area of his pass route.
A route is a pattern or path that a receiver in gridiron football runs to get open for a forward pass.

Hines Ward

Ward
Well-rounded receivers are noted for blocking defensive backs in support of teammates in addition to their pass-catching abilities; Hines Ward in particular received praise for his blocking abilities while also becoming the Pittsburgh Steelers all-time leading receiver and one of 13 in NFL history with at least 1,000 receptions.
Hines Edward Ward Jr. (born March 8, 1976) is an American-South Korean former American football wide receiver who played 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL).

Cornerback

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On passing plays, the receiver attempts to avoid, outmaneuver, or simply outrun defenders (typically cornerbacks or safeties) in the area of his pass route.
Cornerbacks cover receivers most of the time, and defend against offensive plays by creating turnovers or deflecting forward passes rather than making a tackle.

Jerry Rice

RiceTeam RiceJerry "World" Rice
For example, wide receiver Jerry Rice rushed the ball 87 times for 645 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 20 NFL seasons.
Jerry Lee Rice Sr. (born October 13, 1962) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the San Francisco 49ers.

Antwaan Randle El

Antwaan Randle-El
Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass at the wide receiver position in Super Bowl XL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks.
Antwaan Randle El (born August 17, 1979) is an American football coach and former player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh PiratesSteelersPittsburgh
Well-rounded receivers are noted for blocking defensive backs in support of teammates in addition to their pass-catching abilities; Hines Ward in particular received praise for his blocking abilities while also becoming the Pittsburgh Steelers all-time leading receiver and one of 13 in NFL history with at least 1,000 receptions. Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass at the wide receiver position in Super Bowl XL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks.

End-around

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Sometimes wide receivers are used to run the ball, usually in some form of an end-around or reverse.
The end-around is a play in American football in which an end or wide receiver crosses the backfield towards the opposite end of the line and receives a handoff directly from the quarterback.

Trick play

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In even rarer cases, receivers may pass the ball as part of a trick play.
Similar to the halfback pass, the ball is given to a wide receiver on an end around or reverse, but instead of turning upfield he looks for a passing target (which in some situations might include the quarterback, who has run a pass pattern after the handoff.) Like the halfback pass, this play often utilizes a multi-skilled player; Antwaan Randle El is a wide receiver who played quarterback in college and is known for his ability to pass, throwing a 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward, another wide receiver who also played as a quarterback in college, during Super Bowl XL.

Return specialist

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Wide receivers often also serve on special teams as kick returners or punt returners, as gunners on kick coverage teams, or as part of the hands team during onside kicks.
There are few players who are exclusively return specialists; most also play another position such as wide receiver, defensive back, or running back.

Super Bowl XL

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Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass at the wide receiver position in Super Bowl XL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Steelers' main receiving threat was wide receiver Hines Ward, who led the team with 69 receptions for 975 yards and eleven touchdowns.

Don Hutson

Hutson
Don Hutson, who played college football at Alabama and professionally with the Green Bay Packers, was the first player to exploit the potentials of the split end position, and is widely credited as inventing the wide receiver position.
He played as a split end and spent his entire eleven-year professional career with the Green Bay Packers.

Tight end

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That player was essentially playing the modern day tight end position.
The tight end is often seen as a hybrid position with the characteristics and roles of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver.

Gunner (American football)

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Wide receivers often also serve on special teams as kick returners or punt returners, as gunners on kick coverage teams, or as part of the hands team during onside kicks.
Gunners typically also play positions as defensive backs, wide receivers, or running back when not on special teams, often as backups.

Eligible receiver

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By the rules governing the forward pass, ends (positioned at the end of the line of scrimmage) and backs (positioned behind the line of scrimmage) are eligible receivers.
This can often happen when a flanker or slot receiver, who is supposed to line up behind the line of scrimmage, instead lines up on the line of scrimmage between the offensive line and a split end.

Sid Gillman

Sid Gillman's coaching tree
An early innovator, coach Sid Gillman used 3+ wide receiver sets as early as the 1960s.
Gillman's insistence on stretching the football field by throwing deep downfield passes, instead of short passes to running backs or wide receivers at the sides of the line of scrimmage, was instrumental in making football into the modern game that it is today.

End (gridiron football)

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The wide receiver grew out of a position known as the end.
In recent years and the proliferation of the forward pass, the term wide receiver covers both split ends and flankers (wide receivers who line up in split positions but behind the line of scrimmage).

Seattle Seahawks

SeattleSeahawksSeattle Seahawk
Antwaan Randle El threw a touchdown pass at the wide receiver position in Super Bowl XL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks.

Running back

RBBackrunning backs
Instead of moving the blind side end out, one of the three running backs was split wide instead, creating the flanker position.
Occasionally, halfbacks line up as additional wide receivers.

Uniform number (American football)

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In the NFL, wide receivers can use the numbers 10–19 and 80–89.

Reverse (American football)

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Sometimes wide receivers are used to run the ball, usually in some form of an end-around or reverse.
A classic reverse typically begins as a bootleg, sweep or end-around, but before the ball-carrier crosses the line of scrimmage he hands the ball off to a teammate, usually a wide receiver, running in the reverse (opposite) direction.

Charlie Joiner

Charlie Joiner, a member of the "Air Coryell" San Diego Chargers teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s, was the first "slot receiver" to be his team's primary receiver.
Charles B. Joiner Jr. (born October 14, 1947) is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons.

Lineman (gridiron football)

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Originally, the ends played on the offensive line, immediately next to the tackles.
However, ends (whether tight ends or wide receivers) are eligible to catch passes.

History of the San Diego Chargers

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Charlie Joiner, a member of the "Air Coryell" San Diego Chargers teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s, was the first "slot receiver" to be his team's primary receiver.
In the early years, the wide receiver, Lance Alworth made 543 receptions for 10,266 yards in his career of eleven AFL and NFL seasons.

Run and shoot offense

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Other members of the Gillman coaching tree, including Don Coryell and John Madden, brought these progressive offensive ideas along with them into the 1970s and early 1980s, but it was not until the 1990s that teams began to reliably use three or more wide receivers, notably the "run and shoot" offense popularized by the Houston Cougars of the NCAA and the Houston Oilers of the NFL, and the "K Gun" offense used by the Buffalo Bills.
The run and shoot system uses a formation consisting of one running back and usually four wide receivers.