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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, August 1, 2000

N F L _F O O T B A L L


Patriots blank 49ers,
but former Rainbows
impressive in debuts

Staff and wire services

CANTON, Ohio -- Despite first-game jitters in their new jobs, Bill Belichick, Dennis Miller and two rookies from the University of Hawaii got off to good starts yesterday.

On a night for fresh approaches, Kevin Faulk set up one touchdown and scored another and Michael Bishop accounted for two scores as the Patriots beat the San Francisco 49ers, 20-0, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game.

Belichick won his first game as New England's head coach, and Miller appeared to be a fan favorite in his first game as a member of the "Monday Night Football" announcing crew.

Also making good first impressions were San Francisco middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich and receiver Dwight Carter, who also were teammates at UH. Ulbrich saw extended action on defense and Carter caught two passes for 35 yards.

Miller joined Dan Fouts and Al Michaels in the ABC booth in an effort to turn around a steady five-year decline in the show's ratings. His irreverent style and caustic perspective are expected to add a new segment of viewers.

Before the first points were scored, Miller had already scored points with one-liners dealing with the Vatican, male genitalia and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

The crowd of 22,840 thinned out as the second half progressed in the preseason opener for both teams. The loudest cheers of the fourth quarter came when the fans began chanting, "Den-nis! Den-nis! Den-nis!" and tried to get Miller to pop his head out of the press box.

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