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Marquice Cole looking forward to catching up with old friend Mark Sanchez

10.18.12 at 1:56 pm ET

FOXBORO — When it comes to diagnosing Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, one guy in the New England locker room who would know him better than any Patriots defensive back is Marquice Cole.

Cole, who played the last three seasons with the Jets before signing with New England in the offseason, developed a great friendship with the quarterback when the two were teammates in New York.

‘€œMark, [we were] more than just teammates, we’€™re friends,’€ Cole said before practice on Thursday. ‘€œI still keep in touch with him. I try not to bother him during the season because you know how the season goes and everything, but yeah, we’€™re still great friends.

‘€œThe way he is is how you see him. He’€™s a fun-loving guy. There are no secrets about him. He’€™s just a regular person.’€

‘€œ’€˜Quice is the man. He’€™s just an energetic guy,’€ Sanchez said. ‘€œReally played great for us on special teams, on defense, but he’€™s one of the best teammates you could ever ask for, so I know they’€™ve got a great player and a guy that can fit in anywhere.

‘€œ[He’€™s] one of those guys you never want to see leave your building, but sometimes that stuff happens. It’€™s too bad, but I love him as a player and even more as a person. It will be cool to see him, but we’€™ve got to try to win and put the friendship aside for a little bit.’€

Sanchez has faced his share of pressure in New York, particularly as he has stumbled over the last year-plus. But Cole is confident his friend will find his footing sooner rather than later.

‘€œHe’€™s a professional, so he knows what he’€™s doing,’€ Cole said. ‘€œHe knows how to handle what he needs to handle. Everybody in the NFL has pressure on them every day. He knows what he’€™s doing.

‘€œHe goes out there and competes — that’€™s all you can ask of anybody.’€

As for Cole — who has become one of New England’€™s core special teamers — he relishes the chance to be able to catch up with some of his old friends in green and white before and after the game on Sunday.

‘€œIt’€™ll be fun, going against the guys I played with for years in practice and stuff. It’€™ll be fun. It’€™ll be a competitive game,’€ he said.

However, as the latest player to cross over in the Patriots-Jets rivalry, Cole said that as far as he’€™s concerned, this week is just another game.

‘€œI know it’€™s a rivalry and everything, but you want to go out and win every game. It’€™s not like this game will be different than any other game. It’€™s a game where you want to go out and compete,’€ he said. ‘€œBoth sides want to win. It’€™s not any different than any other game.’€

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