During the Patriots first-round playoff bye last month, Tom Brady felt his throwing motionneeded some tweaking. So he went to California to his palatial, newly-completedresidence in Brentwood. There, on thekelly greensod, Brady threw to Wes Welker. Watching Brady throw was the man who had cultivated the most fundamentally perfect quarterbacking form in football, Tom Martinez. Martinez had overseen thousands of throws startingwhen Brady was a pudgy 13-year-old in San Mateo. The legendary football, women's basketball and softball coach at the College of San Mateo - despite being in need of a kidney transplant and undergoing dialysis - gave Brady what he needed that day, according to someone who was there. Then, a little more than a week later, Tom Brady tied an NFL record with six touchdown passes in the Patriots' rout of the Denver Broncos. That day in Brentwood was probably the last time Brady and Martinez worked together in person. Martinez died Tuesday, reportedly of a heart attack while receiving dialysis. The San Jose Mercury News reported the 66-year-old's passing first. "It's a big loss but he's been very, very, very sick," said Brady's father, Tom Brady Sr., on Tuesday night. "I've known him for 50 years. He was a terrific coach and terrific mentor to a lot of people. Hundreds, if not thousands of people, hehelped develop into caring mature, responsible adults. He touched a lot of kids who are now adults and teaching their kids in same manner he taught their parents. There area lot of sadpeople in San Mateo County tonight." A well-done piece in The Boston Globe recently detailed Martinez' need for a new kidney and the donor process. While Martinez' death becomes a bigger "story" because of the accomplishments of his most famous student, the glory - Brady Sr., said - belongs to Martinez. "He was a loving mentor who would do anything for Tommy," said Brady's father. "As Tommy said many times, 'There would never have been a Tom Brady with the Patriots without Tom Martinez.' It's a great loss to his family. But his legacy will continue on through the people he's touched over the last 45 or 50 years of coaching."
He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.
“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.
“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”
More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.
"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.
*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.
*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.
*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.
*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.
*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.
*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.
*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.