ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When word started to spread that former Patriots cornerback Marquice Cole had signed with the Broncos just days before the teams were set to meet in the AFC Championship game, some of the responses from Patriots fans on Twitter were predictably harsh.
But Cole had one supporter in the Patriots locker room in Aqib Talib.
''That’s my dog,'' Talib said. ''Cash that check, baby. Got to pay the bills, man.''
Cole, who was released by the Patriots four times this season (the last time coming the day after Christmas), appreciated the support.
''That’s my dog, he knows what it is,'' Cole said. ''Like he said, it is what it is. I [was at] home. If I get a call to be on a team and help contribute and make some money, then what am I supposed to say? No? Aqib knows what’s up. That’s my dog.''
Cole still had some of his belongings in his locker in Foxborough, even though he had no guarantees from the Patriots that he’d be back.
He was watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" with his son at his home in Illinois when he got the call from the Broncos.
''When I got the call, I had to jump on it,'' he said.
How Cole will be used in the game -- if at all -- is still a question.
''I better be able to answer an hour and a half before the game,'' Broncos coach John Fox joked.
As far as Peyton Manning picking his brain for some Patriots secrets, Cole said he doubted it. Their first conversation was brief.
''I just said, 'How are you doing? My name is Peyton. Good to have you here,' '' Manning said. ''So that’s the extent of it so far.''
But Cole couldn’t think of anything he would know that wouldn’t be in Manning’s mental notes already.
''He’s one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league,'' Cole said. ''So there’s nothing really I can tell him that he doesn’t already know.''