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Tom Brady shares thoughts on news that his longtime mentor Tom Martinez is gravely ill

06.13.11 at 8:13 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is saddened over the recent news that his longtime mentor Tom Martinez, after fighting a kidney condition for the last several years, is in poor health and has been given a short time to live. Brady told Peter King of SI.com that when it comes to Martinez, “There is no one who knows more about throwing the football than Tom. And no one has meant more to me when it comes to throwing the football than Tom.

“We’ve been trying to get together this offseason for a session, and finally we met last Sunday at an indoor facility in San Carlos [near San Francisco],” Brady said. “We spent two hours there. He analyzed what I was doing, just like always. And when I got in the car with my dad afterward, I said to him, ‘It’s unbelievable how much he knows — how much he helps me.’ ”

Brady has worked with Martinez on a regular basis for nearly 25 years — the two first connected when Brady was a struggling high school quarterback.

“Every time you step on the field, whether there’s weather, whether you’re on the road, where you’ve got a big pass rush coming, it always comes down to mechanics. He instilled in me the importance of doing things the right way, every time,” Brady said.

“There’s so many people I owe so much to — high school, college and the NFL,’’ he added. “But he is right at the top of the list. Second to none. He never held back with me. Even when I was going good, he’d watch me and call me and say something like, ‘Your feet are way too slow in the shotgun. Speed it up!’ or, ‘When you throw to your right, close your right shoulder.’

“I just can’t say enough about him, and what he’s meant to me. When I heard how serious it was the other night, I was there in bed with my wife, and it was just a sad moment. Very tough on his family, and on ours.”

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