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Favre says retirement likely but not official

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If Brett Favre had to decide on his future today, he says he'd likely retire.

But his interview aired Sunday on ESPN didn't set off any alarm bells for new Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

"Well, he doesn't have to make a decision today," McCarthy said Monday.

McCarthy says Favre's comments, the quarterback's first since the end of his only losing season with the Packers, are a natural reaction for a veteran player coming off a frustrating year.

He said the comments weren't drastically different from what McCarthy heard when they met at Favre's home in Mississippi this past weekend.

Favre told ESPN he hasn't reached a decision on retirement but added, "If I had to pick right now and make a decision, I would say I'm not coming back."

Favre still thinks he can play but isn't sure he wants to.

"The Monday mornings now, they add up," McCarthy said. "I went through it myself. Definitely. That's why I think he needs to get away. I think he needs to go out in the woods with his chain saw and cut trees down and keep doing what he's doing. He needs to answer that question, because if it's not in here (his heart), then it's not going to be right for him, and it's not going to be right for everybody."

The 36-year-old Favre threw a career-high 29 interceptions this season, and the Packers finished 4-12 — their first losing season since he joined the team in 1992.

Last week, Favre met separately with McCarthy and Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who drove over from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Favre said he told Thompson that if the team doesn't want to wait for his decision, then he should be "cut loose."

"When you sit down and tell a GM, 'I don't know if I can give you everything' — and I have — that's usually the first ticket out of town," Favre said.

MARIUCCI SAYS LITTLE: Steve Mariucci broke his silence. Barely.

Since being fired by the Detroit Lions in November, Mariucci has shunned interview requests through agent Gary O'Hagan and his best friend, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo. Mariucci also asked a Pistons spokesman to keep reporters away when the Spartans played at The Palace earlier this season.

But a four-word response Sunday night during halftime of the Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game confirmed what many have concluded about his plans.

When an Associated Press reporter asked Mariucci if he planned to take time off from coaching, he replied: "A long time off."

OWENS MEETS WITH BRONCOS: Terrell Owens and his agent visited Denver on Monday, talking with coach Mike Shanahan to see if he might be a fit with the Broncos.

Owens is under contract with Philadelphia, but the Eagles have given him permission to seek a trade.

Denver is a suitor, and a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on condition he not be identified because there was no deal, told The Associated Press the volatile receiver had a good meeting with Shanahan.

Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were shown by KCNC-TV at the Denver airport on their way out of town Monday night.

HEIMERDINGER TO DENVER: The Denver Broncos hired Mike Heimerdinger to replace Gary Kubiak on their coaching staff Monday. Shanahan hired Heimerdinger as assistant head coach and promoted offensive line coach Rick Dennison to offensive coordinator. The moves come after Kubiak was hired last week as coach of the Houston Texans. Heimerdinger, who coached the Broncos' wide receivers in 1995-99, spent the last six years as an offensive coordinator with the New York Jets (2005) and Tennessee Titans (2000-04).

ALSO: The Dallas Cowboys hired Chris Palmer as quarterbacks coach, reuniting him with coach Bill Parcells, quarterback Drew Bledsoe and receiver Terry Glenn from their days in New England . . . The New York Jets hired Chargers quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator.