Birds of a feather may flock together.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll fly with each other.
Take, for instance, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick.
Both are talented quarterbacks capable of producing game-breaking plays while breaking the will of any defense.
The Philadelphia Eagles broke down and gambled signing Vick, an ex-con who just got out of jail for torturing and killing dogs while running a dog fighting operation. Pairing Vick with McNabb at the quarterback spot, the Eagles figured, would be an intriguing idea.
Curiosity, as they say, killed the cat.
And it could clip the Eagles this season.
Just look at the clips of last week’s preseason game, which may turn out to be a forecast of disharmony to come.
McNabb said his offense never found a rhythm while Vick kept bouncing into the Eagles huddle like a bobber on troubled waters.
“I think it’s good for him,” McNabb said of Vick’s debut as an Eagle.
It wasn’t so good for the Eagles.
They managed just two field goals in the first half of a 33-32 victory over Jacksonville. That wasn’t all Vick’s fault, as he was only on the field for six plays, completing all four of his passes for minimal yardage, running for a yard and handing off on his only other snap.
But he wasn’t on the field for the second half, after cameras caught McNabb on the sideline making a slashing motion to his throat, apparently telling offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to cut out the Vick stuff.
“Yeah, I sat all them down and I told them, ‘That’s it,’ ” McNabb said sarcastically.
Maybe he had a hand in pulling the plug on Vick, maybe he didn’t. But the mere presence of Vick so early in the game clearly bothered McNabb.
“When you’re trying something new,” McNabb said, “it’s important that you get into a rhythm first.”
That flow won’t be found tonight, when the Eagles travel to play their final preseason game against he New York Jets.
McNabb will turn into a spectator in a contest where backups play excessively and final rosters get finalized.
Meanwhile, Vick will play early and often, getting his last extended work before his regular-season ban for the dogfighting conviction is lifted by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell between the first and sixth weeks of the 2009 season.
Whenever he rejoins the Eagles, their fans are sure to embrace Vick.
The first signs of that came in Vick’s first preseason game in Philadelphia.
The new guy was adored by Eagles rooters, who overlooked his past inhumane treatment of animals roared with appreciation each time Vick trotted onto Lincoln Financial Field.
The only time the stadium stirred for McNabb came when jeers reigned down after a few of his 15 incomplete passes against Jacksonville.
It’s only a matter of time before the “We Want Vick” chant begins.
“There won’t be a quarterback controversy,” Reid insisted when the Eagles signed Vick. “That’s not what’s going to go down here.”
Don’t bet on it.
After being the team’s star for a decade, McNabb won’t take well to sharing time with the new kid in town – who gets cheered partly because his name isn’t McNabb.
It’s a rift just waiting to happen in Philadelphia, where the bird already in hand never looks worth as much as two in a bush.