Report hints that Favre will return

Quarterback's daughters say, 'One more year;' McCarthy says it's a distraction

Having harped on the importance of staying focused in his discussions with the players this week, the last thing head coach Mike McCarthy needed was a distraction to come between the team and its first playoff game in three years.

McCarthy was none too pleased with the timing of a published article Thursday in which quarterback Brett Favre all but declared he would return for the 2008 season.

The report surfaced on the Web site of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., Favre's hometown newspaper, two days before the 13-3 Packers play host to Seattle in the NFC divisional playoffs.

Favre said in an interview with sportswriter Al Jones, a longtime family friend:

"Each week, I bring more stress on myself wondering if this is too good to be true. I want to continue the streak and winning. When I talk about the streak, it's not the (consecutive) starts; it's the hot streak we are on. Then, I ask what can I do better?

"I am trying to enjoy it because this could be my last game in Green Bay. For the first time in three years, I haven't thought this could be my last game. I would like to continue longer."

Favre has been notorious the last few offseasons to wait weeks and even months after a season ends to make up his mind about playing another season.

The 38-year-old Favre, though, has had one of his better seasons in 16 years as the Green Bay starter and drew consideration for league MVP, which went to New England's Tom Brady.

Favre said in the Sun Herald article that daughters Brittany and Breleigh encouraged him last weekend, while they were out getting ice cream in Green Bay, to again put off retirement and play one more year.

"I have a lot to think about. It's been a fun year and winning has made it a good year," Favre said in the article. "For the first time in a couple of years, at this point, my focus is solely on Seattle and winning a playoff game at home."

Favre wasn't available for comment after practice Thursday, but McCarthy didn't hold back with his thoughts on the matter.

"I'll try not to laugh, but I have not been part of any conversation with Brett on that topic," McCarthy said. "I think we just need to move on and focus on Seattle because that's what we are focused on, I'm sure that's what he's focused on. I don't know anything about it, and I think it's just someone trying to distract my quarterback."

McCarthy asserted that he and Favre wouldn't enter into discussions about the quarterback's playing future until this season ends.

"Brett's playing at a very high level, and we're preparing for him to play on another higher level this weekend," McCarthy said. "That's our focus."

Teammates downplayed the buzz that spread throughout Wisconsin on Thursday afternoon with the presumption that Favre is coming back for an 18th NFL season.

"Who wouldn't want him to come back?" veteran receiver Donald Driver said. "I want everyone in this locker room to come back, but everybody probably won't. We'll see what happens."

The chatter prompted by the newspaper article clearly didn't agree with McCarthy, however, as the Packers wrapped up their final full day of preparations for the Seahawks.

He was short with reporters who queried him on the status of select players who are on the injury report and haven't fully participated in practice this week.

"We'll give you the full report tomorrow, and everybody's fine," McCarthy said tersely, adding, "We're healthy as hell, and we're ready to go."


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