NFL notebook: Oakland QB job is Flynn's to lose; Jeannette's Pryor likely to get long look
Since arriving in Oakland in April, Matt Flynn has proven on the practice field and in the meeting rooms that he is the most capable candidate to start at quarterback for the Raiders.
Unless that changes in the exhibition games that start Friday night at home against Dallas, Flynn will be under center when the regular season begins Sept. 8 in Indianapolis.
Flynn will start against the Cowboys and likely will play the first quarter. Jeannette High School graduate Terrelle Pryor will follow and could play the bulk of the next two quarters before rookies Matt McGloin (Penn State) and Tyler Wilson finish up the preseason opener for Oakland.
But the job is Flynn's to lose.
“He's gotten a better grasp of what we're trying to do offensively,” coach Dennis Allen said. “I think he's more in command of what we're doing. I think obviously, from the process through OTAs, through minicamp and now into training camp, he's really progressed well. It'll be good to put him in live action and see what he does against another opponent.”
In an effort to improve the experience for everyone, the NFL will examine preseason games in the hopes of creating a better product, reported NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport noted that, “The NFL still is looking at different formats for the split of regular-season and preseason games: 18-and-2, 16-and-2 or 17-and-3.”
The league also will look at how much starters play, how the lineups are set and the fan reaction, especially in the usually meaningless fourth week of preseason games. The NFL also has discussed the possibility of lowering ticket prices for all preseason games, a decision that ultimately would be made by the owners through a vote at the annual owners' meeting.
Injuries for Colts
Tight end Dwayne Allen and offensive lineman Justin Anderson sat out Indianapolis' practice Thursday morning.
Allen is out with a foot injury that was still being evaluated.
But Anderson's injury appears to be more severe. Coach Chuck Pagano said he had a “significant” pectoral muscle injury, and early indications were that he may need season-ending surgery.
Payton back on sideline
Nearly 19 months after he coached his last game, Sean Payton will be back on the sideline when the Saints play the Chiefs in an exhibition opener Friday night at the Superdome.
“Just getting back to being out on the field in practice and having a chance to coach in a regular game, that part of it is exciting,” Payton said. “The fans have been great. They get excited about our team, especially at the start of the season after everything that went on a year ago. I know our players are excited to play.”
Vick, Foles to split time
Michael Vick will start for the Eagles in their preseason opener against New England on Friday night because coach Chip Kelly said it's his turn to go first in the quarterback rotation.
Nick Foles also will take snaps with the starters, and Kelly said the second-year pro will start the second preseason game. Both Vick and Foles are expected to get between 12 and 20 snaps against the Patriots.
The QBs have been competing for the No. 1 job since Kelly's arrival in Philadelphia. Rookie Matt Barkley will come in after Vick and Foles.
Gabbert up 1st for Jags
The Jaguars are giving Blaine Gabbert the first shot at the team's open quarterback competition.
Coach Gus Bradley announced Thursday that Gabbert will start against the Dolphins on Friday, but he plans to give Chad Henne repetitions behind the first-team offensive line.
Cardinals claim Hagans
The Cardinals obtained defensive end Cordian Hagans off waivers from the Steelers.