Head coach Mike McCarthy made reference to "a couple of weeks" when asked on a national radio show during Super Bowl week about how soon a decision by quarterback Brett Favre about his playing future could be announced.
The off-season waiting game with Favre has reached a month, which is longer than he had let on it would take. A teary-eyed Favre said in a post-game interview with NBC following the Packers' season-ending victory at Chicago on New Year's Eve that he would probably have something to say in a couple of weeks.
Speaking by telephone with Jim Rome during an on-air interview originating from Miami on Tuesday, McCarthy indicated that nothing was imminent about getting a "Yes" or a "No" from Favre for next season.
"It's simply a decision that (his wife) Deanna and Brett are working through, and we hope to know here in the next couple of weeks," McCarthy said.
The second-year coach said he had chatted with Favre by phone three days earlier.
In subsequent interviews with Rome and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, McCarthy alluded to personal and family reasons, not playing ability or team concerns, as the basis for Favre's decision on whether to return for a 17th NFL season or retire. If anything, the 37-year-old Favre had to have been encouraged by both a fairly productive season on his part and the league's youngest team's winning its last four games to finish 8-8 and narrowly miss the playoffs.
"It really has nothing to do with the team," McCarthy told the Journal Sentinel. "I think Brett's questions last year (before deciding to keep playing) were with regards to so many new things: new coach, new staff, (new) terminology, new players. The issue of whether to play (in 2007), from my understanding, really doesn't have anything to do with the team."
McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson had informed Favre before he returned to his home in Mississippi after the past season that they would like him back.
Despite Favre's proclamation on national TV that he wouldn't keep the team in suspense like he did until late April last year, neither McCarthy nor Thompson is pressing their field leader for an answer. At least not yet, though the presumption is they'll want one before free agency starts March 2.
"Everyone understands the time frame we're dealing with, but we haven't put a timeline on it," McCarthy said in the newspaper article. "Obviously, we just don't want to get into what we got into last year."
McCarthy told Rome that all bets are off on how this off-field game will turn out.
"Last year, I felt that he was going to play," McCarthy said. "I think this year there's a lot of things that you would think would point to him playing again. But, it's really a decision between Brett and his family and if he wants to go through the grind of another NFL season. I really don't know."
Packers Pro Bowl receiver Donald Driver uttered the same latter sentiment a day earlier on Rome's show while making a promotional appearance in Miami.
"Two years ago, I thought he would probably retire. He didn't. Then, last year, I said he was coming back, and he did. So, I don't know," Driver said. "I guess I would stay in the middle of this one. I really don't know what he's going to do. If he comes back, it makes it easy for me to play the game; it makes it easy for me just to go out there and play. If he don't come back, then I wish the best for him, and I'll be part of that legacy."
Driver added that Favre is entitled to take his time in making up his mind about next season.
"I don't think guys like me or anyone else in the National Football League or anyone around the world needs to pressure him to make a decision no time soon. He earned that," Driver said. "He can sit back and relax. And, when he's decided, he'll let everyone know."