Thomason quiet; Andruzzi wins third ring

Some news and a view from Sunday's Super Bowl:

Jeff Thomason's "Cinderella" story stuck midnight early. The former Packers tight end, who was called out of retirement and his new life as a construction site manager to replace the injured Chad Lewis, was a nonfactor Sunday.

His only mention in the stat sheet is a tackle after Rodney Harrison's first-quarter interception. Thomason's hit left Harrison momentarily injured though he came back. Which was unfortunate for the Eagles since Harrison probably should have won game MVP honors after intercepting two passes and helping force another turnover by holding up Eagles tight end L.J. Smith long enough for the ball to be stripped.

Thomason was flagged for a key holding penalty on a kickoff return in the final minute of the first half. J.R. Reed ran the ball back to the 41, which would have put the Eagles about 25 yards from scoring position, but the penalty forced the Eagles to start the drive at their 19-yard line.

— Former Packer Dorsey Levens carried the ball one time for 1 yard. He was the target on a couple of pass plays. The first was a first-quarter screen, but as Levens drifted out to the flat, he was flattened by a Patriots defender. A fourth-quarter pass went over his head.

— Former Packers guard Joe Andruzzi won his third Super Bowl ring as a member of the Patriots.

The Packers' seventh-round pick out of Southern Connecticut did not play in his rookie season, 1997. The Packers lost to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl following that season. He was a Packer for three seasons before joining New England for the 2000 season. He started all 16 games this season, as was the case when the Patriots won the Super Bowl following the 2001 and 2003 seasons.

On Sunday, Andruzzi helped anchor a Patriots line that did just well enough against the blitzing Eagles defense to give quarterback Tom Brady time and help the Patriots to a 112-45 advantage in the running game.

Andruzzi starred on consecutive screen plays in the second quarter. On the first, he drove an Eagles defender about 10 yards downfield to help Corey Dillon pick up 13 yards. On the next, he picked up an Eagles blitz to spring a 16-yard Dillon pickup. The drive ended in a turnover, however, when Tom Brady fumbled inside the Eagles' 10-yard line.

— With the playoffs finished, the NFL's first-round draft order is set in stone. The Packers will pick 24th.

Along with that pick, Green Bay has two picks in the second round (including the Saints' in the Mike McKenzie trade), one in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth. The Packers will not pick in the seventh round; that selection was traded in 2003 to Kansas City for defensive back Derek Combs.

The Chiefs own two other Packers' picks, fifth- and sixth-rounders, in the R-Kal Truluck trade. The Packers had extra picks in those rounds after sending Marques Anderson to Oakland.

— In the pregame hype, Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell irked the Patriots when he couldn't name their cornerbacks and said he "had a little something" for Harrison. Harrison finished with two interceptions. Mitchell had one catch, for 11 yards. After he made the catch, he got up with a little swagger in his step and nodded his head as if he had done something special. The Eagles were down 24-14 with about three minutes left in the game. Nice time to strut.

By the way, Mitchell finished the season with three touchdown catches, the same as Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel. Vrabel scored his third with a juggling catch during the third quarter Sunday.


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