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Tom Brady prepares without longtime passing coach

One question mark going into the 2012 season for Tom Brady is how he will get on without his passing guru, Tom Martinez.

Martinez, who helped Brady with his throwing mechanics since high school, died of a heart attack on Feb. 21, his 66th birthday, while waiting for a kidney transplant.

"I have to rely on what he's taught me over the years," Brady said this week at New England Patriots minicamp.

Martinez, who followed Bill Walsh and John Madden as the head coach at the College of San Mateo, cemented his reputation as a top quarterback coach by mentoring Hall of Famer John Elway in addition to Brady.

"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."

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.

One thing Martinez always stressed -- and Brady has done a good job of on his own -- is to take care of his body.

"I feel really good," Brady said. "I feel great. I'm right about where I always am, to tell you the truth. ... 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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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