Marquice Cole Finding Niche on Special Teams
by Bassett on November 8th, 2011
For players who aren’t drafted high (or at all) coming out of college, it takes some time for them to establish their careers. Most often, it starts from special teams on up, and Marquice Cole is proving himself invaluable in his ability to down punts as a flyer on special teams. Kristin Dyer wrote an article about Cole’s role, and in it explains how he’s dedicated himself
over the past two seasons to help make the Jets one of the best punt coverage units in the league.
Like a WR and a QB, a flyer and punter need to know each other’s tendencies. So Dyer spoke to putner TJ Conley about Cole and his abilities.
“I think Marquice is the best in the league at what he does. He’s the best at getting down there and making a play like that,” Conley told Metro. “It takes a lot of athleticism and skill to do that — make a play and down the ball there. It changes field position and involves incredible awareness. I’ve never seen anything like that, the way he can get down there and do that.”
It is a unique skill for Cole, a cornerback who has made his name as a special teams maven for the Jets. Last year in the fourth quarter of a Week 15 road win in Pittsburgh, Cole got on the end of a Steve Weatherford punt, pinning the Steelers on their own one-yard line. Linebacker Jason Taylor would tackle Mewelde Moore in the end zone for a safety on the next play, staking the Jets to a 22-17 lead and forcing Pittsburgh to need a touchdown on the game’s final drive.
Cole has quietly become a major contributor in coverage on special teams, much like Wallace Wright was for the Jets a few years back. Cole has carved out a role for himself, and hopefully he’ll start getting rewarded for his solid service on specials.