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Brady's mentor says Pats QB is 'holding back' early in games

When you go by the nickname "quarterback whisperer," and Tom Brady's dialing your number on a weekly basis, you have a fair idea of what's bugging New England's superstar passer.

Tom Martinez doesn't have to watch more than a few minutes of tape to see a difference in recent weeks. Brady averaged a ridiculous 360 passing yards in his first six games this season. He's averaged 276 yards in the team's last four games.

"I think it (takes) him a while to get warmed up. He's kind of holding back a little bit on some of the throws," Martinez told the Boston Herald on Tuesday.

It's been reported that Brady has battled a bone bruise to his right elbow since New England's Oct. 16 win over the Cowboys. The renowned throwing coach wouldn't provide injury details, but he confirmed that Brady is dealing with discomfort in his throwing arm, which takes time to shake off during games.

"It's like sticking your hand in hot water," Martinez said. "You know you've got to do it. You don't want to do it. You stay away from it as long as you can, but you know you need to. Sooner or later, you've got to stick it in there. You know it's going to hurt. You know it's too hot. And yet you've got to do it if you want to win. I think that's a good analogy of where he is."

Wait, why do we need to stick our hand in hot water? We're not clear why, but we'll do whatever Martinez commands.

Brady has said before that "no one has meant more" to his development than Martinez. The coach is battling a longtime kidney illness and isn't able to work with Brady in person as often as he'd like, but they keep in constant contact and Martinez is determined to help Brady skate past this hiccup.

"Obviously, the pain is affecting some of his throws," Martinez said. "... He's such a warrior, he doesn't allow the pain to distract him from doing what he has to do."

The quarterback whisperer has ... whispered. Tread carefully.

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