Tom Brady's big assist to boyhood coach

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Tom Brady's big assist to boyhood coach

Tom Brenner
CSNBayArea.com

Three-time Super Bowl champion. Two-time Super Bowl MVP. Two-time NFL MVP. Seven-time Pro Bowler.Those are just a few of the major accomplishments in the Hall of Fame career of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and he can add to that list this weekend when the Patriots play in Super Bowl XLVI.While it's easy to credit Bill Belichick, Charlie Weis and Josh McDaniels as the coaches who have helped Brady become the superstar he is, one guiding hand has been with him since he was 13.That hand belongs to quarterback guru Tom Martinez of Menlo Park. Brady gives Martinez credit for developing him into the quarterback he is to this day, dating back to camps he attended as a teen. "(Tom's) been a great friend of mine for a very long time and taught me how to throw a football at a very young age." --Tom Brady
I sat down with Martinez at his home this past week to discuss Bradys pending trip to the Super Bowl, and their long, personal history.
The main reason for my visit was for a much more serious reason though. Martinez needs a kidney transplant; and he needs the transplant to happen as soon as possible.The longtime coach at the College of San Mateo has diabetes and has suffered kidney failure.Days are not easy for Martinez and his wife Olivia as they continue to look for a matching donor through many resources. Besides the daily fatigue due to his condition, Martinez has faced major roadblocks.We have been refused by two hospitals to be a candidate for transplant, UCLA was one of them, Martinez said. We were just told 'Nope, youre not acceptable to us.' To my wife and I, that was devastating. It was depressing. I dont like the word depressed but it was depressing."When Tom Brady turns out to be part of the solution, its unbelievable." --Tom MartinezThis is where Brady comes back into the picture.In December, Brady took to his Facebook page to spread the word about his mentors need for a new kidney. Martinez says that about 60 people responded to Bradys post throughMatchingDonors.com; a site giving people in need of a transplant a way to find a matching donor. Forty of those people were serious about helping Martinez, something he says would not have happened without the help of Brady.When Tom Brady turns out to be part of the solution, its unbelievable, Martinez said. You have gone through rejection and people dont believe in you. Youre trying to explain to people I dont know if I am going to make it or not. I dont know how long I am going to live, but I am going to fight from A to Z, and I will give you my best shot the whole time.It really is an amazing story. A quarterback who Martinez says reached the mountain top is using his celebrity platform in an effort to save his mentors life."He's been a great friend of mine for a very long time and taught me how to throw a football at a very young age," said Brady, who starred at Serra High School in San Mateo. "He's been looking for a kidney for quite a while.While there has been increased interest from the public to find Martinez a donor, he is still waiting to find a match.It was clear from our conversation that no matter what the future holds, Martinez couldnt be more thankful for what his star pupil has done for him over the last couple months."Without Tom Martinez, Tom Brady would not
have been the quarterback of the New England Patriots." --Tom BradyWhat he is giving me is an opportunity to live longer, so I cant thank him enough. Yet we have the kind of relationship where we dont have to thank each other, Martinez said. It is understood that there is nothing that I wouldnt do for him and there is nothing he probably wouldnt do for me.Martinez plans to watch this weekends Super Bowl at his home in Menlo Park with family and friends. The only way those plans fall through is because of possible good news; a trip to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he could receive a life-saving kidney transplant.It's safe to say that while Martinez and his family would love to watch Brady play in the biggest stage in all of football from the comfort of their home, there would be no better news than that of finding a donor.So while Brady may be a three-time Super Bowl Champion, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, a two-time NFL MVP and a seven-time Pro Bowler; his effort to find ONE matching donor could make all the difference in the world.Tom Brenner is an associate producer for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.