NEW YORK (Reuters) - What appeared to be a heated exchange with Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre on Sunday over whether the player should exit the game was simply a "stream of consciousness" moment, the team's coach said on Monday.

With Favre menaced by a punishing pass rush by the Carolina Panthers while clinging to a 7-6 third-quarter lead, Minnesota coach Brad Childress said he was just wondering aloud whether to replace his 40-year-old signal caller.

Favre was animated in saying he had no intention of leaving the game and carried on in what became a 26-7 win by Carolina that left some to wonder if there was dissension in the ranks.

"It was more of a stream of consciousness, where he comes off the field, I'm watching what I'm watching, and I said, 'Hey, you know what? I'm thinking about taking you out of the game here,'" Childress told reporters.

"I mean, you're getting your rear end kicked' through not a lot of fault of his own. As I'm watching that and as I'm watching that occur, I'm giving him a stream of consciousness.

"Obviously, he didn't want anything to do with that, which I certainly appreciate from his standpoint."

After Sunday's game, Favre suggested he was confused over what Childress meant in their sideline exchange.

"There was a little heated discussion I guess you could call it," Favre said. "No secret I was getting hit a little bit. I felt the pressure on a lot of plays.

"We were not moving the ball, not getting points. So Brad wanted to go in a different direction and I wanted to stay in the game. We were up, 7-6. I said, 'I'm staying in the game. I'm playing.'

"I didn't know whether it was to protect me. I'm not sure. It's his call. My response was we got to win this ballgame and I want to stay in and do what I can. Unfortunately I didn't do that, but that was my intention."

Childress played down the notion of a rift.

"You guys can characterize it as heated," Childress said. "There was pretty good communication going on back and forth. I didn't see it as a heated."

(Writing by Larry Fine, Editing by Ian Ransom)