NFL Synonyms : What the Heck is a Wide Out?

Yesterday we learned all about receivers and their specific roles: split ends, flankers, tight ends, and slot receivers.

So if those are all of the specific positions, what the heck is a wide out?

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Good question!

You’ll often hear analysts and commentators referring to receivers on the field as “wide outs.” It’s a term that is usually synonymous with wide receiver – as in, “the team’s wide outs are having a great game today.” But it can also specifically mean the widest receiver out, who is technically referred to as the split end. Either way, the term wide out refers to a wide receiver.

A term that is not synonymous with wide out or wide receiver? Primary receiver. Usually, a team’s primary receiver is a specifically designated player who the quarterback goes to first on a specific play or in a specific system. (I could try to use specific one more time, but I’ll stop there.) The primary receiver is usually a team’s best offensive weapon, so having the quarterback try to go to him first makes sense if you’re trying to get your best player the ball most often (which isn’t such a bad plan).

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