Coach slams door on Favre speculation

McCarthy backpedals on comments he made about quarterback's future

Packers coach Mike McCarthy did his best today to hush any further talk about whether quarterback Brett Favre will extend his football career after this season. McCarthy indirectly ignited the flames of Favre's future Sunday when he told Sports Illustrated writer Peter King that Favre could play two or three more years based on how he's playing this season.

King discussed the issue at halftime of a Sunday night game televised on NBC, causing McCarthy to do some damage control when he met with Wisconsin media at his regular day-after press conference at Lambeau Field.

"If I opened that door for that type of scenario, then I need to close it," McCarthy was quick to reply. "That wasn't the intent of my conversation.

"We talked about Brett Favre as far as the way he's playing this year. We're excited about the way he's playing. We referred to, I think, he has plenty of gas in his tank, and he could play another couple years if he wants to. But those are post-season topics. I know he doesn't want the distraction, our football team doesn't need it, and if I opened the door, I need to close it. There's no need to go there any more."

Stay tuned. Favre is expected to meet with the media on Wednesday at Lambeau Field for his regularly scheduled bi-weekly press conference. He has said earlier this season that he will not address any questions about his future in football during the season.

Favre passed for 347 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay's 23-17 victory over the Vikings Sunday in the Metrodome. He hasn't thrown an interception in four of the last five games.

Last year, Favre led the league with 29 interceptions in a 4-12 season. He has only seven interceptions in nine games this season with 13 touchdowns.

"His decision making has been solid," McCarthy said. "(If) we get in the playoffs, I'll take him against anybody."

Dan Marino's league record of 420 touchdown passes is well within Favre's reach by the end of this season. Favre has 409.

"I might really be the only one that really does not care," Favre said Sunday. "If I get it great, but I would much rather win."

With three wins in the last four games to offset a 1-4 start, a considerably young team apparently has won over its older quarterback and could be convincing him to return for 2007 and beyond.

"Each week it's like, 'OK, maybe this is just a flash in the pan.' And, then the following week, more plays are made, and the following week more plays are made. Each one has a hand in (it)," Favre said. "I think everyone on this team contributes. I can't think of too many times in my career where that's happened where I can say every player contributes."

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