Favre's Last Lambeau Stand? Not Likely

Brett Favre said he has not made up his mind about a return to the Packers in 2007, but the quarterback's comments on Tuesday make it sound like he will.

Brett Favre isn't into sentimentality this week.

The subplot for the game Thursday night against Minnesota is it could be the decorated quarterback's farewell at Lambeau Field, as well as in prime time on national airwaves. To hear Favre drop hints during a news conference Tuesday, however, he won't be turning off the lights on his career anytime soon. Less than a year after he was convinced he was walking off the Lambeau grass for the final time following the regular-season finale against Seattle, Favre apparently will play on into 2007.

"It very well could be (my last home game Thursday), but I haven't made that decision yet," Favre said. "To say that I would treat this game any differently because it may be, I think I've treated every game that I've played here like it was the last. So, play as hard as you can and soak it all in, as I've always done."

Comments made thereafter, though, suggested that Favre has his undecided mind set on coming back for another season.

"I feel pretty good in a sense that I'm out there practicing every day and knowing that and seeing the plays that I make and the throws I make, I know I can do it. I really don't believe that's a question," Favre said. "In fact, if I was to say I were to retire, I know I would feel guilty that, 'Man, I've still got some talent here to use. I would hate to waste it.'

"There's probably been a lot of guys who have done that. But, I would much rather look at it that way than, 'Oh, I used to make that throw, and I can't make it anymore. But, I'm selfish, and I want to stick around anyway.' I don't see that. I still see that I can make those throws."

Even at age 37, he doesn't question his physical attributes, saying, "I've once again endured being hit and bouncing around and things like that." He bounced back from a bruised throwing elbow, sustained Nov. 19 against New England, and will be making his 256th straight start Thursday.

He's on the verge of catching Dan Marino's league record of 420 touchdown passes, needing only seven.

Although he reiterated feelings made in the aftermath of Sunday's ugly win over Detroit that the Packers aren't up to snuff as a 6-8 team still contending for a playoff spot, he has been encouraged by the development of the league's youngest team.

"I think the progress being made here is good," Favre said. "How will the Packers be next year? I have no idea. Have we played up to or beyond my expectations or people's expectations? No. I was hoping we would win eight games, and there's still a chance we could do that.

"(But) there are some talented young players on this team. How quickly they progress remains to be seen."

Favre just might see for himself what further strides are made in the future.

After waiting until April to tell the Packers he would be playing this season, Favre expects to declare his intention much sooner in the impending off-season. "Retirement" is a word Favre rarely mentions, so the thought of acting on it seems to be unappealing to him at this time.

"Unless it's by injury or one side says, 'Thank you, but I don't want to play no more,' or 'We don't want you anymore,' I don't know if I'll ever be totally content with (making that decision)," he revealed. "I love this game; I really do. But, there's factors that go into it, and I have to sort through that quickly, in fairness to my family, my self and to this team."

The league's only three-time MVP asserted that coming off two straight non-winning seasons and a quiet desire to win a second Super Bowl title won't be the impetus for making a decision to return next year.

Instead, his wobbly performance down the stretch this season would be more likely to whet the ultra-competitive Favre's appetite for more football. He had only seven interceptions in the first 10 games but has eight picks with only four touchdowns in the last four outings.

"I'm not satisfied with the way I've played. ... From a production standpoint, I think I've left some things out there," he said. "I'm probably more critical of myself at this stage in my career than I ever have been. I don't know if that's fair or not fair, but I do still feel like I can make those plays. And, it's frustrating to me and disappointing when I don't."

"I want to feel like I'm producing. I felt like I kept Detroit in the game the other day (with three interceptions). That's tough to deal with. I'm harder on myself than I ever have been before."

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