Marquice Cole knows value of perseverance
|08.27.12 at 4:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When it comes to cuts, Marquice Cole knows how tough it is this time of year.
In 2007, he was cut by the Raiders after he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern. In 2008, he was released by the Titans. He stuck in 2009, landing a gig with the Jets and playing for New York for three seasons.
So when he looked around the New England locker room on Monday — the day the Patriots needed to trim the roster to 75 — he knew what some of those players were thinking.
‘It’s a really tough day,’ Cole said on Monday morning. ‘Being on different teams and everything like that, I’ve been through the process of being here for training camp and getting released. Some guys, you become friends with them and the reality of it is you may never see them again in your life. It’s a tough day.’
Asked for some advice on what to tell someone who might be cut, Cole was straightforward.
‘Never give up. Keep grinding,’ he said. ‘Like I said, I’ve been through it a couple times. Different times. It’s the hardest part, but you have to take the good with the bad. It might happen to some guys, and you just have to fight through it. If this is what you really want to do, go home, work hard and wait for your next opportunity.
‘You just have to focus in and whenever your name is called, just go out there make the most of your opportunity at that time. I believe you just have to stay focused on your job and know what your job is, and whenever you’re called to do your job, you have to be able to do it.’
With an increase in playing time, it appears unlikely that the 28-year-old Cole needs to worry about a roster spot this year. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder, who has also shown great special teams value, feels good about where he is, especially after last Friday’s game against Tampa where he tied for the team lead in tackles with five, and added a pair of pass breakups.
‘I think he did a number of good things, as he has the whole training camp,’ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Cole’s play against the Bucs. ‘[He’s] made plays in the kicking game [and] made plays on defense.’
‘I played OK. I left some plays on the field,’ Cole said. ‘I could have caught those two pass breakups I had — I could have turned them into interceptions. It’s work that I have to do, obviously. I guess it was OK.
‘I believe I’m getting more comfortable with the guys and the system,’ he added. ‘You play faster once you understand what you’re doing instead of being out there thinking each play, ‘What I have on this or that?’ Once you become comfortable in the defense, then, you can play freer.’
One of the other reasons Cole feels good about his situation is because of who is around him.
‘I think it’s going pretty well, especially because all the DB’s are friends — we talk off the field as much as we talk on the field,’ Cole said. ‘So us being friends off the field and being able to talk to each other off the field, it’s easier to look around and say, ‘Tavon’ or, ‘Steve’ or whoever it may be when we get out there. I think it’s going pretty well.’