METAIRIE, La. -- Not that there was any doubt after Drew Brees looked so good in his only preseason performance two weeks ago. But the New Orleans Saints quarterback officially declared himself "100 percent" healthy Wednesday after recovering from a strained oblique.
"I did what I needed to do to get healthy. I feel strong. I feel 100 percent," said Brees, who wound up playing less than one full quarter during the preseason after missing the first two games with the injury and sitting out the final preseason game as part of his usual routine.
That one quarter was impressive enough, however, to declare Brees good to go for the season. He threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns on a total of three drives against the Indianapolis Colts.
After that Colts game, Brees said he didn't feel quite back to 100 percent yet. But two weeks later, he said he does.
Brees admitted that it was a little hard for him to miss out on his usual amount of preseason reps because he's a "creature of habit" and "very routine-oriented." But he's also admittedly a master of optimism. Brees even referenced the "optimism bias" on Wednesday while talking about how he tried to make the most of his practice reps and mental reps over the past month.
"I think I've tricked my mind into thinking I took the reps," Brees said. "I think if you approach practice as if it's game-like, so your mind is there, and the speed and the intensity with which you're playing is there, it's as if you did take the reps."
Brees said the one thing he probably missed out on most was the time to keep developing a rhythm with young receivers like Brandin Cooks and Nick Toon. But he said he's had ample time to do that since returning.
"Just getting back in it, like anything, it's muscle memory, it's getting back on track -- especially with the young guys," Brees said. "But we're very much on the same page."