Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 5/31/12
It's been almost four months since Tom Brady lost the single biggest influence in his football life. Tom Martinez was his throwing coach. His mentor. His adviser. You name it. And then, while waiting on a kidney transplant, Martinez died on Feb. 21 from a heart attack during dialysis. It happened to be 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 mechanically you are, the more accurate you're going to be able to throw the football.'' Martinez taught him that, and Brady perfected it. Now, five months after he lost the Super Bowl 21-17 to the New York Giants in Indianapolis, Brady is pushing forward, aiming at 2012. On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, he and the Patriots went through the motions at a Gillette Stadium minicamp. ''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?'' Brady asked. ''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 threw for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns last season, using many of the mechanics Martinez taught him in California as the veteran quarterback was in high school, preparing for his collegiate career at Michigan. Martinez didn't coach Brady exclusively, of course. In fact, he also mentored John Elway and JaMarcus Russell over the years, and he 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. 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,'' Brady said. ''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.'' One thing Martinez always stressed - and Brady has done a good job of on his own - is to take care of his body. Brady had his minicamp weigh-in on Wednesday, and checked in 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. 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.'' At times, Brady's been that in the NFL. He is, after all, a three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time league MVP, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time Super Bowl MVP. And a lot of that has to do with staying in game shape, which he said is easier now than it was when he came into the NFL in 2000. ''A lot,'' Brady said. ''And every year it seems to be little different. So, I'm always looking for little ways to improve. Certainly, eat healthier, which is actually easier to do now than it used to be when I was young. I eat pretty good.'' As for the minicamp and the end of the offseason training activities, Brady said he and the team covered a lot of ground. This is a club coming off a 13-3 regular-season record and an AFC championship, of course. ''It's been a lot of fun, being back on the field, having a chance to work with a lot of the new guys,'' Brady said. ''Some of those guys we've worked with and there's a lot of familiarity with. They've already done our offense, so it's been good. We've had 12 practices.'' The Patriots are now off until July 26, when they report to training camp. The key between then and now for Brady & Company? Do not treat the next five weeks as vacation. ''We're in full preparation mode. This is the point where things really start getting ramped up. There's no breaks. We had our vacation,'' he said. ''We had a lot of time off and now it's time to really focus in on what we need to do because we're going to blink and the first game is going to be here. You have about five weeks and everyone should use it really wisely, get in better shape, better football shape, have a better understanding of what we're doing so that we can go out there and when training camp starts, you can really get off to a great start. ''I've got a long way to go - a long way to go - nowhere near where I want to be or need to be.'' He'll get there, of course. Martinez wouldn't have had it any other way.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Philip Rivers cleared to play Sunday against Bills

Simone Biles blasts Gabby Douglas over response to sexual abuse post

D'Angelo Russell underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday

Derrick Rose to miss at least two weeks with ankle injury

Jameis Winston: Uber driver’s ‘accusation is false’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones apologizes after video of racially charged comment emerges

Russell Wilson couldn't talk, was on liquid diet for days due to nearly broken jaw

Report: Tennessee has 'considerable reservations' about hiring Jon Gruden

NFL owner reached out to Adam Silver about commissioner job?

‘Still OKC’ Kevin Durant: ‘Ain’t no such thing’ as loyalty

Report: Leonard Fournette’s ankle is ‘still not right’

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

NFL Week 11 predictions

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Vikings' unnecessary quarterback conundrum is Mike Zimmer's doing

Time to admit the Blues are good, but can they be great?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

NFL Week 11 predictions

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker