Although the New Orleans Saints quarterback missed only two weeks during training camp in 2014, he told ESPN's Ed Werder that he felt his mechanics suffered as a result of the injury. And he spent two months working on those mechanics with longtime throwing coach Tom House this offseason -- more time than he has spent with him in years.
"I think I got a little away from my mechanics last year as the season wore on," Brees said. "Part of it is probably attributable to the oblique injury in camp. I probably came back -- not too soon -- but wanted to come back so soon, that on the road to recovery I altered my mechanics and overcompensated and developed some bad habits."
Brees expanded on those comments after his preseason debut in Saturday's 26-24 loss to the New England Patriots. He added that he dealt with another unspecified ailment as well late last season -- likely as a result of those poor mechanics.
"I had the injury in the preseason, the oblique. Then I had something during the season, too, that I was battling," said Brees, who declined to get more specific.
Brees said you "throw with your core" as a quarterback, explaining that the idea of having a "strong arm" actually has very little to do with the arm. And he said he tried to "manufacture power" after suffering the oblique injury.
"I would overcompensate in other ways and develop bad habits, which worked for a short period of time. Then, all of a sudden, other things started going downhill," Brees said. "So I was definitely in that place toward the end of last season. I wasn't throwing my best. But no excuses. Everybody's battling stuff throughout the season. But this offseason, I definitely went back to the basics with some of those things to make sure I was doing stuff the right way."
Brees, 36, still tied for the NFL lead with 4,952 passing yards in 2014 and ranked second in the NFL with a completion percentage of 69.2. But he threw 17 interceptions -- some of them in big moments -- as he often tried to force things too much for the 7-9 Saints.
Brees told Werder he now weighs 212 pounds (he's listed at 209), feels strong, healthy and mechanically sound.
"I feel as good throwing the ball as I've felt in a long time," Brees said after an outstanding performance against the Patriots.
Brees, whosat out last week to give more playing time to New Orleans' young backups, got off to a great start Saturday, throwing two touchdown passes and leading the Saints to scores on their first three drives as they took a 15-0 lead.
He finished 8-of-10 with 159 yards and the two scores in the Saints' 26-24 loss to the Patriots. He was almost 9-of-10 with three TDs, but receiver Brandon Coleman couldn't hold on to a pass that was stripped away in the end zone.
Garoppolo, Patriots beat Saints
Jimmy Garoppolo connects on 28 of 33 passes for 269 yards with a touchdown and interception in New England's 26-24 win over New Orleans.
Breaking down the Patriots' win over the Saints
ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett and Patriots reporter Mike Reiss discuss New England's 26-24 preseason win over New Orleans.