Posted by Ryan Wilson
If you've grown tired of the Brady-Manning debates, here's one you probably never (ever ever) considered: Steve Young vs. Michael Vick. Sounds preposterous, right?
Well, Vick's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, Marty Mornhinweg, made the comparison recently, and the man knows a few things about NFL quarterbacks. He coached Brett Favre in 1996 (Super Bowl), Young in 1997 and 1998 (last Pro Bowl seasons), Jeff Garcia in 2000 (Pro Bowl), Donovan McNabb from 2004-2009 (he had his five best passing seasons), and Vick last season (Pro Bowl).
Which brings us back to Young and Vick.
"Here was a man (in Vick) who hasn't played for a couple of years," Mornhinweg said. "However, if he did it the right way, I thought he could be a Steve Young-type player … Mike's got a long way to go, but, you know what? I think he can be better than Steve."
We know what you're thinking. "This is the same guy who won the overtime coin toss and elected to kickoff instead of receive, right?" Yes. But we're blaming Lions president Matt Millen. His mismanagement style was infectious; at just about every other stop Mornhinweg has been successful. And it's for that reason that we shouldn't summarily dismiss him when he talks about Vick in the same breath as Young, a Hall of Famer.
PFT.com's Michael David Smith makes a good point. "Asking Vick to be a better quarterback than Young is a tall order. …However, there are a lot of similarities between Vick and Young. They’re both mobile left-handed quarterbacks playing in similar offensive systems. And Young didn’t become the 49ers’ quarterback until he was 30 years old — the same age Vick was last year."
The Philadelphia News' Marcus Hayes writes that Vick had a passer rating of 100.2 last season under Mornhinweg. That was good for fourth in the league. As an NFL starter with the Falcons, Vick never had a passer rating above 81.6.
Whether the rest of Vick's career will mirror Young's is a story that has yet to be written, but there's no disputing that 2010 was Vick's best NFL season. Pretty sure nobody saw that coming, either.
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