FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Michael Vick knows that he has become the NFL's poster child for career rehabilitation.
In recent days, the Jets backup quarterback has fielded dozens of questions about Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday after TMZ.com released a video showing him punching his then-fiancée inside an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel. But Vick doesn't think his involvement in an organized dogfighting ring is comparable to the Rice situation because "you're comparing dogs and humans."
"This one is tough," he told Newsday Wednesday. "I think what I did doesn't compare to what this case is and what came out of this. It's just a situation where men have to understand that we're men. Women are a lot smaller and not as physical as us. We just have to think before we react. It's not man-on-man. It's man-on-woman and that's unfair."
Vick, who was suspended indefinitely from the NFL and spent 23 months in federal prison, clarified that the Rice situation isn't worse than the crime he committed.
"It's just as bad," he said. "I won't compare dogs to humans in this situation. But you're talking about a man putting his hands on a woman, so it's a totally different realm. You're not talking about somebody abusing an animal. You're talking about a man abusing a woman."
The former No. 1 overall pick in 2001 resurrected his career in 2009 and went on to play five seasons in Philadelphia. In March, he signed a one-year, $4-million deal with the Jets.
It's unclear if Rice's return to the NFL will ever happen. But until then, Vick knows he'll continue to field questions about athletes re-establishing their images and their careers. And he's OK with that.
"Yeah, once again, I'm being used as a prime example," he told Newsday. "But that's cool though. It's cool, it's all right. You can set the guidelines based on my situation. Obviously, everything is not going to be to that magnitude, maybe worse, maybe a bit more easier to deal with. I just think it all depends on the crime that's been committed."
Vick admitted Wednesday that he often wondered whether he'd get a second chance.
"I doubted it, yeah. I mean, I didn't know," he told reporters. "You got the whole world coming at you and everybody looking at you like you're the worst person in the world . . . You've just got to keep the faith and lean on the people who've always been there for you and the people that are there to help you. And I think that'll get you through. Hopefully that'll work for Ray."
Vick reiterated that Rice deserves another chance to play again, but he isn't sure if that will happen.
"Honestly, I think everybody deserves a second chance. Everybody . . . But there's going to be a grace period and we all just have to sit back and reflect on what's been done," he said, adding that he plans to reach out to Rice.
"Ray Rice is a great football player, but I think there's some things he has to work on, some issues he has to deal with."