Tim Graham, who covers the AFC East for ESPN.com, highlights one of Tom Brady's secret weapons in a blog post today: Personal throwing coach Tom Martinez.
Graham sets the scene before the team's AFC East-clinching victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 last season:
A week before Brady scalpeled the Jaguars, he summoned Martinez cross-continent from Northern California to Foxborough, Mass. Brady felt battered and a little insecure. His delivery wasn't right. Injuries, sloppy mechanics, whatever it was ... He needed help.
Martinez has been Brady's personal throwing coach since before the three-time Super Bowl champion made his first junior varsity start. They spent the Christmas holiday tinkering in the Dana-Farber Field House. Brady was in a four-week funk that produced three passer ratings below 75.0 and a defeat in the exception.
"He had a broken finger and three broken ribs," Martinez said, ostensibly confirming reports Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Brady himself denied during the season. "He wasn't throwing well.
"It's one of those things where I can see right away what he's doing. He trusts me, so when I tweak him, it's right back to where he wants to be. Then, at that point, it probably is psychological."