McNabb takes a pass on comparisons with Favre

Updated: November 8, 2003, 4:08 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- When Philadelphia coach Andy Reid wanted to give Donovan McNabb a crash course on the West Coast offense, it was only natural to study film of Brett Favre.

McNabb learned more than the intricacies of running the offense from Favre. He discovered that there seems to be no end to the comparisons between the quarterbacks.

"We've gotten to the point where I don't want to hear about Favre anymore," McNabb said. "It's not a bad thing. It's just that I want to sort of form my own identity. I would like people to be talking to their quarterbacks and comparing those guys to me."

The link between the two is Reid. He was Green Bay's tight ends and assistant offensive line coach from 1992-1996 and the quarterbacks coach from 1997-98. He has coached the Eagles since 1999.

Same coach. Same offense. Same quarterback?

Not quite, said Reid.

"I don't go into elaborate comparisons," he said. "I don't think that's fair to your guy."

Reid does acknowledge the two have little in common on the field other than strong arms. He thinks they are more alike in their demeanor.

"Both can be the funniest guy in the locker room, but yet, the most serious guy in the huddle," Reid said. "Donovan hasn't done it as long, but he will put his mark on the offense just like Brett has done with the Green Bay offense."

What is similar is a contagious passion for the game, easygoing personalities and locker-room leadership.

"It doesn't matter if you play offense or defense, he's going to make you feel part of the team," Reid said, referring to McNabb.

They're also bullheaded in playing with pain. Favre has played the last three weeks with a broken right thumb. McNabb has been bothered most of the season with a sprained right thumb.

Favre has played with almost every kind of injury. McNabb played one of his best games of last season with a broken ankle. That injury, however, would cost McNabb the final six games of the season.

Favre, who overcame his own early comparisons to Joe Montana, is preparing to start his NFL-record 199th straight game Monday against the Eagles.

"That's a big honor to even get close to as many games as he's played," McNabb said.

What is different is their approach. Favre is more of a risk-taker, willing to force a pass or make plays outside the pocket.

"The success that you have is being willing to take chances," Favre said. "I've thrown a lot of touchdowns, and I'm willing to bet a third of them were risky, to say the least."

McNabb is amazed at Favre's style, but it's not for him. He's more apt to tuck the ball and run if there's trouble in the pocket.

McNabb does owe one part of his career to Favre. He's made the last two Pro Bowls when Favre backed out with injuries.

The one similarity that does stand out? Both have impeccable credentials.

Favre is a three-time NFL MVP who led Green Bay to the 1997 Super Bowl title and an appearance in the next year's championship game. McNabb led the Eagles to the last two NFC East titles and appearances in the NFC championship game.

"When it's time to take charge, they both know how to do that very well," Reid said.

McNabb doesn't mind hearing that. He'd just like to tune out the rest.

"Anytime you've heard comparisons all through your life of who you are like out on the field ... that sort of gets old every now and then," McNabb said.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index