"I hope so," the New York Jets' backup quarterback said Tuesday.
Vick, in his weekly spot on WFAN radio, was asked about the Rice controversy. He speaks from experience. In 2007, he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the personal-conduct policy. He served nearly two years in prison on federal dogfighting charges, managing to resurrect his career upon his release.
Asked what he'd tell Rice if the former Baltimore Ravens running back came to him for advice, Vick paused a few seconds.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t know what to tell Ray Rice right now,” Vick said. “That’s just being transparent with you right now. That situation is just so out of control. I just hope masses of people learn from this. As athletes, we understand the position that we’re in, and that we are superior athletes. Some things you’ve got to learn to bottle up. There are so many different ways to handle things that come about. We’ve just always got to be mindful and competent when we’re in those situations."
Vick, once deemed an NFL outcast, has rehabilitated his image. He said he learned life lessons from his sordid past.
"I took away a lot from what I went through -- the importance of decision-making," he said. "And like I tell so many people now: Ray Rice has had a great career. A lot of us had great careers and everything was in our favor, and you do the wrong thing in one hour of the day and everything turns around and is obviously not in your favor anymore.
"Somebody told me you can go 23 hours in a day and do the right thing, and in the last hour screw up, and that’s all people are going to remember. You’ve just got to be conscious of what you’re doing and what’s going on at all times. You just can’t let things get out of character. We control everything. We control our actions, we control our movement, we control the people around us. We’ve got to take that into consideration at all times."
These days, Vick is perceived as the wise mentor to Geno Smith. He said Smith is like his "little brother" (Vick is 10 years older), complimenting the Jets' starter on his maturity.
"He walks around with the football in his hand a lot," Vick said. "He eats, sleeps and breathes football. I wish I could’ve been that way when I was 22 years old, when I was 24 years old. The things that I could’ve accomplished would’ve been so far-fetched."
The host, Mike Francesa, tried to stir up a controversy with some leading questions, but Vick wasn't biting. He acknowledged that it's "hard" not being the starter, but he has accepted his No. 2 role, as he has stated many times since signing with the Jets. He was in for three plays Sunday -- the so-called Vick package -- but he suspects those appearances will be "few and far between." He missed a wide-open Eric Decker in the end zone on a gadget pass, prompting the 34-year-old Vick to say he might need to apply Icy Hot to his shoulder to keep it warmed up.