Favre tells hometown paper he's leaning toward returning

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If Brett Favre is leaning toward returning for another season with the Green Bay Packers, he hasn't discussed it yet with his coach.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy hardly seemed convinced comments from Favre to his hometown newspaper on Thursday that he was leaning toward playing another season amounted to an official decision.

"I'm trying not to laugh, but I have not been part of any conversation with Brett on that topic," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "And I think we need to just move on and focus on Seattle, because that's what we are focused on. I'm sure that's what he's focused on."

In a story posted on the Web site of the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald on Thursday, Favre said he isn't approaching Saturday's playoff game against Seattle like it will be his final game in Green Bay. He seemed more optimistic than in years past about returning.

"For the first time in three years, I haven't thought this could be my last game," Favre told the newspaper. "I would like to continue longer."

Favre's now-annual flirtation with retirement has taken on a life of its own in Wisconsin. He has taken weeks and even months in recent years to make his decision.

While it has been widely assumed he would return to play next season after having one of the best years of his career, Favre and McCarthy have said the quarterback would wait until after the season to address the issue again.

Favre's favorite receiver, Donald Driver, said Thursday that while he hasn't discussed the topic with Favre, he expected the three-time MVP to return.

"I think he's going to come back," Driver said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back. He's having a great year, so it'd be great to see him come back if he decides to."

McCarthy didn't seem pleased the retirement issue popped up two days before the team's biggest game of the season.

"I don't know anything about it, and I think it's someone just trying to distract my quarterback," McCarthy said.

Favre is not scheduled to speak to reporters before Saturday's game.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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