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Retirement Far From Favre's Mind


Some pundits have hypothesized that the Green Bay Packers' disappointing 0-3 start has pushed Brett Favre into retirement mode.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

In reality Favre is so focused on leading the Packers to their first win that he has not given a second thought to when he will retire.

"At 0-3, I think most people would say, 'Oh he's gone after this year, or they won't even want him back,'" Favre said. "I haven't even thought about that. ... I don't even think about when that time will come."

At 0-3, Favre does find himself in an unfamiliar situation. He has neither started a season with that record nor finished one with a winning percentage worse than .500 as a Packers quarterback.

The 15-year-veteran has accepted his role of leading a young team -- something Favre called the "maybe the biggest challenge" of his playing career. Head coach Mike Sherman gave him high grades on his leadership and attitude.

"He's handled things extremely well," Sherman said. "I'm very proud."

Some have emphasized how the absence of wide receiver Javon Walker, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week One, has caused him to rack up seven interceptions through three games. Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Will Allen intercepted two fourth quarter throws -- the first intended for Donald Driver and the second for Robert Ferguson -- last Sunday.

On both occasions he lofted high passes, and Walker specialized in outleaping his opponent to catch the ball at the highest point.

Despite those errant throws, the noted gunslinger will not hesitate to pull the trigger.

"My confidence hasn't changed, and it can't change. You have to trust the guys you play with," Favre said. "We are a talented group at receiver, but we are inexperienced."

Of those fresh faces, Favre said third-year-veteran Antonio Chatman, who occupies the No. 3 wide receiver position, reminds him of a younger version of Driver. He also praised the work ethic of rookie No. 4 wide receiver Terrence Murphy.

"We have a ways to go," Favre said. "But we have a lot of talent at those positions."

The Packers wide receivers do not want Favre to change his style either. They want him to continue to use one of the game's strongest arms to rifle the ball into the smallest of areas and trust them to come down with the ball.

"That's how he's played his whole career, putting players into position to make plays," Ferguson said. "That's what makes him great. He can make those throws that normal quarterbacks couldn't."

The only three-time MVP winner in NFL history, Favre is anything but a normal quarterback, and he has taken the three losses unsually hard. After Sunday's 17-16 loss, he placed much of the blame on his shoulders. But the 0-3 start has not led to thoughts of ending his career.

In the locker room on Monday, the 35-year-old showed signs of the frivolity that resembled a nine-year-old rather than a player ready to hang up his cleats. The equipment room shook with laughter as he joked with equipment managers. The Packers quarterback danced while wearing a Packers fireman helmet.

"0-3 is not very fun, but I don't think I'd trade it for anything else," he said. "It's still a one-in-a-million job."


Quick Hits: Cornerback Joey Thomas no longer has headaches as a result of a concussion he suffered on Sept. 18 versus the Cleveland Browns. He practiced on Wednesday. ... Sherman called Wednesday morning's walk-through one of the best he has ever seen. "They seem like they're on a mission," he said.

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