|Tom Brady on the impact the late Tom Martinez still has on him, his own health and focus||06.13.12 at 4:55 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s been almost four months since Tom Brady lost the single biggest influence in his football life. But he said on Wednesday, following the second of three mandatory minicamp practices at Gillette Stadium, that Tom Martinez still has a huge impact on him. Martinez, who was waiting on a kidney transplant, died on Feb. 21 from a heart attack during dialysis on his 66th birthday.
“I had a great level of comfort with Tom over the years,” Brady said. “He was always someone I could call on to rely on him. I know he’s watching down with every throw and I hear his voice in the back of my head after every throw. Throwing the football is about mechanics. There’s nothing special. It’s just a matter of doing it the right way. The better mechanical you are, the more accurate you’re going to be able to throw the football.”
So what are those words that Brady hears?
“When you’re not accurate, there’s a reason for it. It’s not like, ‘Hey you’ve got to throw the ball more accurate.’ No, there’s a reason. What are you doing?
“I’m constantly evaluating every throw. I watch every practice. Every rep I take in practice, I have someone film and I watch it after practice. I just make sure I’m continuing to work on the right things because ultimately when you’re under pressure, your body is going to revert to what it knows. Muscle memory is a very important thing for a quarterback. Hopefully, you train your muscles to react the way you need them to react when the pressure is on the most. That allows you to throw the ball with velocity and accuracy. The tougher the games get, the closer the coverages, the more accurate you need to be,” Brady added.
Martinez coached and mentored Brady every since the Patriots quarterback grew up in California and eventually attended the University of Michigan. Martinez, who also worked with John Elway and JaMarcus Russell, followed Bill Walsh and John Madden at the College of San Mateo before being forced to retire due to health concerns.
“I have to rely on what he’s taught me over the years,” Brady said. “I have a lot of stuff written down of things we’ve talked about and things that I’ve learned and I have a great understanding of mechanically what I need to be able to do. It’s just a matter of seeing it and being able to correct it. Hopefully, you can correct it between series sometimes. You don’t always have the fortune to wait until Monday to figure things out. Sometimes you have to figure them out in the middle of the third quarter. That’s something where I have to rely on what he’s taught me over the years.”
Something Brady has taught himself is to take care of his body, something he stressed Wednesday. He had his minicamp weigh-in on Wednesday and tipped the scales at 228 pounds.
“I feel really good,” Brady said. “I feel great. I’m right about where I always am, to tell you the truth. We had weigh-in today and I’m right where coach wants me at.
“I think you really refine what you do over the course of years because you realize what works for you and what you need to do to be prepared for the football season. I think there are things you do when you’re younger I haven’t necessarily done in a while because I don’t think it really correlates well to being a better football player. And ultimately, we’re trying to be the best football player we can be, not necessarily the best weight-lifter, or the best sprinter. You need to be the best football player.” Read the rest of this entry »