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Favre enjoying offensive scheme

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre is like a kid having so much
fun he doesn't want to come inside for dinner.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the 34-year-old
quarterback hinted for the first time that he wants to play for the
Green Bay Packers next season rather than retire.

He said nothing is set in stone, but he would love to be on the
field in 2004 -- if not beyond.

"It's fun leading this offense. I don't think we've hit our
peak," Favre said. "And I don't know if it's going to be this
year, next year. I mean, I still think there's a lot left out there
for us and a lot left out there for me."

Favre, preparing to start his NFL-record 199th straight game
Monday night against Philadelphia, is in the midst of one of the
best stretches of his career.

He needs four touchdown passes to tie Dan Marino's record of at
least 20 TDs in 10 straight seasons. Favre is tied for the league
lead with 16 in 2003 despite playing with a broken right thumb the
last three weeks for the Packers (4-4).

"As productive as we are right now, I think we all can see how
much more we can do, and we can take it to a different level,"
Favre said. "And to me, that's a tremendous challenge that I want
to be a part of."

Favre began pondering retirement a couple of years ago after a
series of injuries, and speculation about the end of his career has
dominated recent Packers offseasons.

The three-time NFL MVP led Green Bay to the 1997 Super Bowl
title and an appearance in the next year's championship game.

He figures the final decision on when to quit will be made for
him, either because of an injury or a choice by the team to find a
younger starting quarterback.

"Do I think either of those will happen? No one ever does,"
Favre said. "But I really believe this team has a lot of potential -- whether it's this year or in years to come, I don't know.

"There's a lot of talent, there's a lot of character, there's a
lot of good guys. I think that's shown in these first eight games.
Now, the record is not a big indication of that, but I see a lot of
potential here, and I'm having a lot of fun."

Coach and general manager Mike Sherman wasn't available Friday
but has said he believes Favre will play beyond this season. Still,
this was Favre's strongest suggestion yet that he's not going to
stop anytime soon.

"That's good. That's a good, strong statement," offensive
coordinator Tom Rossley said.

Favre's teammates were thrilled about his remarks.

"I always say if you're having fun and you're having success,
you love the game," guard Marco Rivera said. "Right now, Brett is
having fun. You have fun, you stay young, and you want to keep
playing."

Backup quarterback Doug Pederson said Favre's play and passion
are at a high.

"The way things are going and with comments like that, it just
leads you to believe he'll be back next year and the next year,"
Pederson said.

It's easy to see why Favre is enjoying himself so much.

The Packers are averaging 32 points in the five games since
Rossley agreed to Favre's plea to allow him to roam outside the
pocket more.

This is the best offensive line Favre has played behind. It has
allowed just seven sacks and paved the way for Ahman Green to lead
the league in yards from scrimmage, giving the Packers a 1-2 punch
like never before.

Favre said his skills haven't eroded, and he thinks he might be
playing his best football ever. He's completed 67 percent of his
passes, which would be a career high and quite a feat considering
no one in NFL history has thrown as many passes (6,245) more
accurately (61.2 percent) over a career than Favre.

At his current pace, Favre will move past Fran Tarkenton (342)
for second on the NFL career touchdown pass list and trail only
Marino (420).

Yet statistics don't drive Favre; he insists he won't stick
around just to chase records. If it were to all end tomorrow, Favre
said he'd be satisfied with his place in history.

"Believe me, I have achieved way more than I ever set out to.
I've already satisfied every hunger I've ever had _ and then
some," Favre said. "But I know I can still play, and I know I can
still help this team win. With the young group that we've got, the
sky's the limit. I really want to be a part of it."