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Thumbs-up for Saints QB Drew Brees

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As of the third week of the preseason, Saints QB Drew Brees ranks second in the NFL with a passer rating of 156.0, Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A quick observation of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and how he has played in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 13 at the Arizona Cardinals:

Brees' preseason has been short and sweet. He has played a total of four drives in two games, and he has led the Saints inside the 10-yard line on every one of them.

The Saints had to settle for field goals on two of those drives when Brees couldn't connect in the end zone -- an area where he'll no doubt miss tight end Jimmy Graham this season. But he still ranks second in the NFL this preseason with a nearly perfect passer rating of 156.0, having completed 12 of 16 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. One of those TDs was a gorgeous 45-yard deep ball dropped right into speedy receiver Brandin Cooks' hands in the end zone.

The most important development with Brees this summer, however, is that he revealed he wasn't completely healthy last year and that his mechanics suffered as a result of trying to make up for a preseason oblique injury. That helps to explain why Brees struggled with 17 interceptions (which were also a result of trying to force things when he was under pressure or playing from behind too often).

Brees, 36, spent months working on his mechanics this offseason with longtime passing coach Tom House. And now he says, "I feel as good throwing the ball as I've felt in a long time."