Even if you want to go to the elephant is still in the room whenever you discuss African-American quarterbacks, Vick and McNabb are at opposite ends.
Up until the last 10 quarters of his NFL career, Vick was appropriately referred to as a "running quarterback."
Vick's 4,124 rushing yards trail only Randall Cunningham and Steve Young on the all-time list for quarterbacks. He's just 115 yards behind Young.
Cunningham rushed for 4,928 yards on 775 carries. Vick has 576 career carries.
In 2006, his last season before missing two seasons while incarcerated, Vick became the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards.
In the four seasons in which he played 15 games or more, Vick rushed for at least 597 yards in each of those years.
The term "running quarterback" had always been misused when referring to McNabb.
McNabb was always a quarterback who had the ability to run - a subtle but significant distinction.
With 3,291 rushing yards, McNabb trails Vick by more than 800 yards.
During his first year as the Eagles' starter, in 2000, McNabb rushed for 629 yards. He never ran for 500 yards again.
McNabb has fewer rushing yards than Young but has 33,706 career passing yards compared to 33,124 for the Hall of Famer.
That's why it shouldn't be that big of a surprise that the Eagles' offense led by Vick looks a lot different than the one McNabb led for a decade.
The offense is the same one that coach Andy Reid designed, but, like any other offense, it's going to operate a little differently with a different captain.
"They're both different and have a different game," Reid said of the two QBs. "You can say that they both can run and do a lot of stuff, but they're different, as much as one is righthanded and one is lefthanded.
"[Vick] put his mark on this offense and it will be different than how Donovan did it."
For more than a decade, it appeared as if Reid was inflexible, that he was determined to make McNabb run his version of the West Coast Offense without deviation from script.
Turns out, Reid might not have been as hard-willed as we thought.
The way things look now, it appears that Reid never tried to pigeonhole McNabb, that he gave him a lot more freedom of expression than we believed.
Perhaps the offense under McNabb operated the way it did because that's the personality McNabb chose to infuse into it.
Really, there's no other way to explain why Reid seems to be a little more loosey-goosey with the reins while Vick has been out there.
Thus far, there has been little indication that Reid has instructed Vick to curb the freelancing ways that make Vick so dangerous.
Without question, Reid and Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have stressed to Vick the importance of going through his progressions and to keep looking down field before tucking the ball under his arm and running.
But they have not insisted to Vick that he must become a so-called "pocket passer" to make this offense work.
In fact, Reid has said the exact opposite. "I'm not big on saying he's a pocket thrower," the coach said.
McNabb's obsession with becoming a "pure pocket passer" was self-created.
"All quarterbacks are different," Reid said. "The Joe Montanas, the Steve Youngs, the Brett Favres did it different. What I always tell [Vick] is 'Let your personality show.'
"You give [a quarterback] a system and then you let them do their thing with the system and let their personality show."
What's happening with Vick right now seems to be more about the quarterback humbling himself, making a concentrated effort to accept what the Eagles have been teaching him and realizing he could reinvent himself as a more complete quarterback.
He hasn't changed his "playmaker" personality, but he has tempered it to the point where it allows him to still be him while operating the Eagles' offense the way it should be run.
"I always knew I could play better than what I did [in Atlanta]," Vick said. "All I had to do was work at it and get in the right system and just play my game.
"Play efficiently and be smart with the football. I always knew I could do it."
The "Chaos Affect" Vick creates strikes fear into defensive coordinators the way McNabb did before injury and the wear-and-tear of the NFL robbed him of some of his running ability.
If there has been one positive football result of Vick essentially being out of the game for the better part of three seasons, it's that his body has two fewer seasons of NFL defenders beating on it.
He's a 30-year-old quarterback in the body of a 27-year-old.
That can make a huge difference when you have as much natural athletic ability as Vick.
There will be a lot of comparisons between Vick and McNabb leading into Sunday's game, but no matter how things may get spun to suggest they may be similar quarterbacks, they aren't, never were and never will be.
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