01-25-2008, 03:23 PM
Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Join Date: Dec 2007
Tom's QB Mentor Growing Up Reflects On Chargers Game
When Tom Brady was 13, he started taking passing lessons from a local man named Tom Martinez, a nationally known quarterback guru. They have remained close, with Brady visiting his mentor every year for what he likes to call a mechanical tuneup.
"He's had a profound impact on him," Brady's father, Tom Brady Sr., says of Martinez. "Without Tom, Tommy would not be in professional football."
Martinez, 62, the former head coach at San Mateo College, is recovering from a lung disease that required surgery. Despite his recent health problems, he always makes sure to check out Brady on TV.
"He radiates that winning attitude to the guys around him," says Martinez, who tutored No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell before last year's draft. "(Joe) Montana had that same kind of aura about him."
Martinez, who watched Brady throw three interceptions in last week's win over the Chargers in the AFC title game, said "something was off" in his star pupil. Some have speculated that Brady's high-ankle sprain may have affected his mechanics.
"His fine touch wasn't there," Martinez observed. "He's like an archer. Not only do you expect him to hit the target, but you expect him to hit the bull's-eye. With Tom, like with Montana, he throws a catchable ball. Last week was the first time I saw him kind of off in the sense that the receivers had to reach beyond normal."
Asked how Brady will rebound in Super Bowl XLII, Martinez said, "He will not accept failure."
Brady appreciates Martinez's input. After being awarded the game ball after his first victory in 2001, Brady gave it to Martinez and signed it: "To Coach Tom Martinez ... Hopefully, the first of many to come."
"What Tom Brady just did gives me goosebumps"
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