Favre explains decision

Desire to play, help Packers win his biggest motivation

Brett Favre knew what he wanted to do with his football future, but to be sure, gathered with some of his family members and asked them to cast their vote on if he should continue to play or not play. His wife, Deanna, along with their two daughters, mother-in-law, Deanna's sister, and brother in-law recently conducted an impromptu straw poll. The outcome of the vote was unanimous: ‘Play.'

"It just kind of reaffirmed what I was thinking," said Favre, who addressed the media today for the first time since he phoned Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy on April 25 regarding his decision to continue his NFL career.

Favre said that if he retired, he knew that he would have regrets this fall while watching NFL games from his home in the Hattiesburg, MS, area.

"Ultimately I still wanted to play," Favre said. "I still feel like I can help this team win. I wondered what it would be like on Sundays at home next year. Obviously, it was a long decision, a difficult decision, but that's basically what it came down to. I still think I can be doing that and still believe I want to do that and for the Green Bay Packers, and not for another team."

Favre quickly dismissed opinions by others who felt that he might want to play for a team that has a chance to win the Super Bowl this season. He again insisted that he wants to finish his career with the Packers, and nobody else.

"I've never, I told you guys that over and over again, that I didn't want to play for another team, and that's the truth," Favre said. "Never once did I mention trade. This is where I wanted to be the whole time."

Favre, 36, will be entering his 15th season with the Packers and 16th overall. He is participating in this weekend's post-draft mini-camp in Green Bay. Favre is coming off a season in which he led the league with 29 interceptions while throwing 20 touchdowns. He is nearing some major NFL records, and is scheduled to earn $10 million in salary this season, but he was very sincere in explaining that those are not the reasons he returned to the Packers.

Though the Packers have not signed any big-name free agents for the offense and traded away Pro Bowl wide receiver Javon Walker to Denver, Favre appears content with the offense in front of him and McCarthy's offensive scheme at this time. He feels that the Packers can bounce back from their first losing season since 1991.

"I know there's the risk of being 4-12 again, but as with any season, there's optimism," Favre said. "I'm well aware that we lost five games by just a few points. With all the injuries we had and the fact that these guys come back healthy, there's always a chance. … I feel like I can make a difference."

"Last year was no fun for any one, and anyone associated with this team. … I would love to get this team back on track and make the playoffs. That's my and everyone's feeling on this team, that we will be back, and that's it. I love to play the game, but I realize that those guys in there (locker room) will have long careers and my career is near the end, but I want to win now. It's different than maybe John Elway or some other guys' situations because I have been a part of a Super Bowl team and have had some success around here. … We signed Charles Woodson and tried to sign LaVar Arrington. Javon Walker is gone, but we do have good players on this team and some who will probably make a name for themselves this year. Whether or not that played a big part of my decision, I'm sure it did a little bit, but basically it came down to whether I wanted to play and if I would be able to deal with myself in the fall. I don't want to regret anything."

Favre was asked about if he plans to play beyond the 2006 season but declined to speculate at this point and said he will not address those questions from the media this season.

"It's a lot more fun with Brett around here," said Favre's backup Aaron Rodgers. "He's got my back on some issues. We want to tweak the offense in a just a few different ways. There's so much that Brett brings back to the team that I'm really glad he's back."

Favre will be asked to adjust to McCarthy's version of the West Coast offense. Through a pair of mini-camp practices, the coach says all is going well.

"He's eager," McCarthy said. "He's going to be challenged mentally in a way that he hasn't been challenged in a while because we have changed the offense. I think that's healthy.

"Brett Favre is a football player and I think he's in the environment that he belongs in."

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