NFL OTA news: Practices canceled for some teams, QB battles heat up for others


The NFL OTAs are being used by some to figure out their quarterback competition while others are taking days off to watch Brad Pitt movies.

The New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals were among teams to end their OTAs earlier than planned this week by canceling practice Thursday. All of the teams had different reasons to do so, according to what the coaches told the media, but it seems that rest was likely a primary factor in each team's decision.

Bill Belichick canceled Thursday's practice for a second consecutive season, but Greg Knopping at Pats Pulpit is a bit perplexed by the decision. The Buccaneers took Thursday off too, although they were together as a team watching Brad Pitt's World War Z instead. There wasn't much regarding why the Steelers ended OTAs early, but they did it anyway. And last but not least in the world of early-ending OTAs, backup kicker Will Batson knocked through a field goal to end Cardinals practice early.

Eagles not close to deciding on quarterback

The Philadelphia Eagles will likely have a QB battle for the majority of the preseason, it seems, as they have a plethora of options. Michael Vick would seem to be the favorite, but Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, G.J. Kinne and Dennis Dixon are all still apparently at least sort of in the mix.

"[The QB competition] will be as long as you imagine. That's what Chip Kelly is," Dixon said. "He keeps everyone on their toes. As an athlete, you have to be ready. Whenever your name is called, you have to be ready."

It'll be very odd if it isn't Foles or Vick, but it sounds like anything is possible.

Jets working on wildcat formation

The New York Jets were said to be finding ways to get Geno Smith more involved in the passing game -- particularly with his legs -- and it sounds as though they found a way to do so by installing the wildcat formation during this week's OTAs.

The wildcat didn't go so well with Tim Tebow at the helm last season, but our friends at Bleeding Green Nation think it could be different this year.

I am sure the thought of more Wildcat will lead to some groans, but I think this is the right thing to do. There is just not enough talent on this offense for it to be successful playing straight up. There are going to need to be a few wrinkles, and the personnel seems better suited to playing power football than anything else.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Jaguars quarterback competition wide open

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a quarterback competition brewing and things are all over the place as far as potential starters are concerned, according to a report from Big Cat Country.

Most believe that the competition is between Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert, but the fact that Mike Kafka is said to have just as good of an opportunity as the aforementioned favorites is a good thing, BCC's Alfie Crow writes.

I still think Blaine Gabbert winds up the opening day starter, but if the Jaguars' new front office and coaching staff are willing to let a guy claimed off waivers or an undrafted free agent win the starting job if they legitimately earn it, that's a good thing.

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