A Keepnet Full of Dreams

In 2009 Avon days and Stour Ways was launched, a book that was essentially a romp through four decades of coarse fishing by Kevin Grozier and a few of his friends on those world famous rivers of Southern England, the Hampshire Avon and Dorset Stour, for the magnificent Barbel, Carp, Chub, Dace, Perch, Pike and Roach that are found in them. In the five years since publication, his book has attracted a great deal of praise across the angling world with many readers writing, phoning or e-mailing Kevin to let him know how much they enjoyed it.

In A Keepnet Full of Dreams, Kevin has continued the same style in bringing his fishing experiences up to date. The book follows the same amusing, and sometimes irreverent anecdotal style which, judging by the many letters he received proved to be so popular with Avon Days. The new book, like the previous one, is not an unrelenting catalogue of big fish captures. Once again it is essentially a story book, including an account of his first experiences carp fishing abroad.

Dave Steuart, having read Avon Days in 2009 told Kevin it was one of the best angling books he had ever read and warned him he would never write a better book, or even come near it. Yet in his foreword to Kevin’s new book A Keepnet Full of Dreams Dave tells us he was wrong!

Another friend, Rae Borras who wrote the earlier foreword to Avon Days tells us in his foreword to the new book that “there is a passion which seeps through every sentence of his writing.”

The MMQB’s special series exploring why this is the most anticipated season ever for the NFL in the Golden State

As I said, my hat’s off to Will and his staff, and Jason and his staff, in what we’ve been able to accomplish as an organization in terms of our drafting, I do think we drafted quality men who have leadership skills.

So in a lot of ways, this offseason for the Cowboys was about trusting the job they’ve done in bringing all those guys up the last few years. Because in a lot of ways, the team really does now belong to those guys.

The NFL abolished the old rookie symposium after 2015, and this is third year of its replacement—the rookie transition program, which is run by each individual team. The idea was to be more inclusive—the old symposium only included draft picks—and allow teams to tailor the process to introduce players to their new homes.

He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around, says Linton, the longtime head orthopedic surgeon for Mississippi State’s football team. He was in quite a bit of pain when we first got to him.

Have you seen the injury? New Bulldogs quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Andrew Breiner has. The former Fordham head coach saw it live, like millions of others watching on television, because ESPN cameras didn’t cut away soon enough after the hit, and for a cool nine seconds, Fitzgerald’s ankle pointed west and his leg pointed south.

Breiner, queasy about such things, arrived at Mississippi State this winter planning to never watch it again. Fitzgerald had other ideas.

He started 12 games at free safety last year and is part of a secondary that now also includes Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Joyner started only 14 games in his first three seasons combined, playing as a slot corner in the team’s substitution packages.

The Rams chose to use the tag on Joyner rather than receiver Sammy Watkins, who left for the Chiefs as a free agent.

Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence not expected to reach a deal before deadline

The Cowboys are not expected to reach a deal with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence before Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, according to multiple reports.

Lawrence repeatedly has said he has no problem playing under the $17.1 million franchise tag, giving him a chance to break the bank in free agency next year. Of course, Lawrence is forgetting that if he repeats what he did last season, the Cowboys surely will franchise him again at a projected $20.5 million tag.

Andy Benoit and The MMQB on why 2018 will be golden in the Golden State

That’s what’s happening around the rest of the league. Inside the NFC West, the stage is set for the two offensive innovators to clash for years to come. McVay’s quarterback is 23 years old; Shanahan’s is 26, with very little wear-and-tear. L.A.’s roster is loaded; San Fran’s is solid and improving. The Rams will move into a new world-class stadium in 2020; the Niners have been in theirs since 2014.

The rivalry will be fun … even if neither coach wants to stoke it publicly. Both say all the right things about the other, and behind the scenes their mutual respect might be even more intense. But every now and then you see competitive juices leaking out. A good-natured potshot about that guy stealing my idea. An unnecessary mention about how he’s in our division.

As John Spanos, President of Football Operations, explains, At the end of the day, the driving force [behind hiring Lynn] was who will help us win games over who will help initially sell tickets. When it’s pointed out that Bill Belichick was almost antithetical to a flashy hire in New England, Spanos says, How ’bout that. He was the head coach of the Browns, got let go and was an assistant again. I don’t remember him at that point being a necessarily flashy guy, so it’s a good point.

Richardson’s fine will be doled out to organizations dedicated to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside of the workplace, the league said.

White also recommended that prohibition of using Non-Disclosure Agreements to limit reporting of potential violations or cooperation in investigations under the Personal Conduct Policy, as well as establishing a hotline or other system for league employees to confidentially report issues of workplace conduct.

Alright, Sage …. The easy answer is Good Will Hunting. And I like it fine. But my memories of it are scarred a little. It came out my senior year in high school, which meant that by the next fall, when I was moving to Ohio for college, everyone had seen it, and everyone thought they knew what people from Boston sounded like.

Here’s the thing: I don’t have the accent, nor do 99% of the people I grew up with. But my entire freshman year, I had to answer why I didn’t sound like Ben Affleck in that movie, even though in real life he doesn’t have the accent either. There are, in fact, a lot of people from metro Boston who don’t have it. But over and over and over, Why don’t you have the accent?

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette helps LSU student cover tuition

Gordon, a second-round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, tallied 1,646 receiving yards on 87 catches with nine touchdowns in 14 games during the 2013 season, and he did that without a strong quarterback group.

With the addition of Tyrod Taylor, Gordon has a chance to surpass those stats as long as he can put substance-abuse problems aside, which kept him off the field for two seasons.

President Donald Trump isn’t a fan of the NFL’s new rule which states players don’t have to come out and stand for the national anthem, but are allowed to stay in the locker room if they wish.

Isn’t that worse than not standing? Trump said at a rally in Montana. That doesn’t play. I actually think in many ways it’s worse.

In the new rule which was agreed upon by NFL owners in May, players can stay in the locker room during the anthem, but if they decide to be on the field while it is played and decide to kneel, there will be fines administered.

This rule was not officially voted upon by NFL owners though it was passed. It had a couple of abstentions.

I’ve tried to bunt a few times, and I’ve had a few successes. But the third baseman is usually still in there for the first two strikes, so the bunt is not as big a factor as it could be. Again, it’s dictated by the score and the situation in the game.

It goes back to the question of ‘How can I help the team the most?’ Am I going to help the team the most over the course of the season hitting weak ground balls to shortstop [for a single]? I’m not a guy who steals a bunch of bases, so you’re relying on a few hits to score me. If I try to drive the ball and I hit a double, it only takes one hit to score me. I definitely understand how people can look at it and say, ‘Man, just hit a ball to the left side.’ But there are a lot of different arguments to it.

We’ve had meetings and talked about this stuff. If you’re facing David Ortiz, and he bunts over there and gets a single, he may have just done us a favor. If we let Ortiz beat us with a bunt as opposed to him hitting a homer, maybe that’s OK.

As far as baseball doing something to change the shifts, that’s for people smarter than me to decide. I just go out there and play where they tell me to play.

Jackson waited until June to make the jump, because doctors advised against the coach making the plunge in winter.

Earlier in the week, Jackson told reporters that the organization was using the moment as a chance to turn the page on a lot of things that have gone on here.

When I look and see all the people in or organization that are here supporting me and wanting to be a part of this because I think they all feel the same way. Let’s put this behind us, Jackson told reporters Friday.

We understand we haven’t been what we need to be for the city of Cleveland and we know Cleveland Browns football hasn’t come close to what I want it to be. I get that. We hurt just like they do. But at the same time, I think we all want to turn the page.

The Show Me State has six bills regarding sports wagering currently in the works. SB 767, which would authorize sportsbooks with a 12 percent tax rate, had its status updated May 15, one day after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

New York has four gambling-related bills working their way through the state legislature. SB 7900 would allow for sports betting and online wagering with a tax rate of 8.5 percent for casinos.

South Carolina’s got an uphill climb to allow gambling — it would take an amendment to the state constitution to allow gaming of any type within its borders. That’s what HJR 3102 would do, which covers sports betting, casino games, and horse racing.

Work is work, but on some level — especially when it involves football — you should be able to enjoy it. No one wants to live in misery every day. That doesn’t make you weak. Putting up with that kind of hell doesn’t indicate you’re better and tougher than those who don’t believe that to demean means to build character.

I don’t doubt that Carroll makes his players work: Six straight winning seasons and a Super Bowl victory can attest to that. And I don’t think he’s in a constant of state of kumbaya where he showers them with a never-ending stream of praise, either. But I think because of Carroll’s personality, the Seahawks probably have their share of fun and get weird sometimes too.

Even when he tries to coin hippie-sounding slogans like new empathy that don’t really say much at all except that he knows how to use thesaurus.com, Carroll’s heart seems to be in the right place. At its core, the message is something we can all get behind: As our great philosophers once said, be excellent to each other.

The Browns won every title the AAFC ever had because they recruited well.

The draft has taken that opportunity away from them, but at least they get to pick first every year. This situation would be tough for them, because they’d suddenly be the third best recruiter in their own state behind the Bengals and Buckeyes.

Thursday’s Rise ‘n Grind takes a look at minicamps around the league and the top headlines from Jimmy Garoppolo struggling to Carson Wentz’s recovery.

With minicamps underway for most of the NFL, we’re taking a look at some of the most exciting — and questionable — things going on around the league.

Meet the 1946-49 Browns, who won four consecutive championships in the All-American Football Conference, briefly a peer of the old NFL’s. The AAFC didn’t have a draft, and the Browns went ahead and signed up four future Pro Football Hall of Famers in 1946:

Those are four of the greatest undrafted free agents ever.

At that point, we could be back to where we were an offseason ago: Romo decides he’s had enough and retires to join the broadcast world. A team in Texas has its young, franchise quarterback that it’s understandably excited about.

In the end, everyone is where they should be. Romo deciding to retire instead of continuing his football career in Houston worked out best for him — and selfishly, for us too. And the Texans can, for the first time in a while, feel confident about who they have as their starting quarterback heading into a new season.

A 9-7 finish isn’t plausible, but it’d still be possible. In this example, it means they would have to beat the Ravens and Titans, who both would’ve dropped to 8-8. The Titans would then fall out of the playoff picture, setting up a three-way tie between the Texans, Bills, and Chargers for two wild card spots. Houston would lose out on the strength of victory tiebreaker, but it would change the AFC picture by setting up a Wild Card Round matchups between the Chargers and Jaguars, and the Bills and Chiefs. (The Patriots would inevitably still win the AFC, however.)

The more feasible result is that the 7-9 or 8-8 Texans miss out on the playoffs and maybe spoil the Titans’ season. As long as Romo doesn’t get injured, then Watson might only ever take the field for mop-up duty.

Andrew Knapp kept the Philadelphia Phillies on a red-hot streak.

Knapp hit a game-ending pinch-hit homer just inside the right field foul pole in the 13th inning as the Phillies came from behind to beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 Sunday.

That was cool, Knapp said. That was a huge team win — huge team series.

We’ve got to start striking out less, putting the balls in play, driving in runs when we have the ability to drive in runs, Washington manager Davey Martinez said. But it’ll turn. Our offense is good. I know it’s good. And I truly believe that it’ll turn around.

We didn’t hear the Capitals mentioned much — if at all — on July 1, but don’t discount them as the big winners of 2018 free agency.

Remember, the big fish in this year’s sea (besides Tavares) was supposed to be John Carlson. The Capitals locked in their No. 1 defenseman to an eight-year deal, worth $8 million per season. The 28-year-old likely would have commanded more money on the open market.

Washington also locked in two of its big playoff performers, Michal Kempny and Devante Smith-Pelly, while fending off other suitors. They also let somebody else overpay for Jay Beagle. Stanley Cup champions in the salary-cap era rarely get to return the virtually same roster the next season. Washington will do so, minus its backup goaltender and a fourth-liner (whose role will be filled by a homegrown youngster). Not bad.

The Vancouver Canucks are in an awkward, post-Sedins era. There’s money on the roster in veteran players, and there is a collection of great young players, such as Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser.

Quarterback A is, well, a work in progress. And that’s being kind. There were 31 quarterbacks last season who had at least one game with at least 22.5 points. C.J. Beathard, Brian Hoyer and Brock Osweiler were among the QBs who reached that threshold at least once. Quarterback A did not. He failed to throw multiple TD passes in seven of his final 11 games and he finished poorly, tying Joe Flacco on a fantasy points-per-game basis in the second half of last season.

Price has a 3.31 ERA with only nine home runs, leading to a 2.4 home run percentage.

Whatever the tactic that doomed Price, it’s clear he hasn’t been very good against the Yankees of late. In the two starts he has made against New York this season, he has lasted a total of 4 1/3 innings.

He left that game early after feeling numbness in the fingertips on his pitching hand. No injury prevented him from pitching better against the Yankees this time around, he said.

I’ve never given up five home runs in any start in my career, Price said. But I’m going to move forward, and I’m not going to let a bad start define my season. I’m going to keep on pushing forward and be ready to go in five days.White Sox top Rangers 10-5 as Choo streak reaches 42 games

I think if you win, that takes care of everything. You don’t have to think about anything else, Bradley said. You get that done, I don’t think you’ve got to worry about any other teams.

Angels: Placed rookie reliever Jake Jewell on the DL with a broken right leg that could cause him to miss the rest of the season. He’s scheduled to have surgery Friday. Jewell was carted off the field at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. … The Angels recalled RHP Eduardo Paredes from Triple-A Salt Lake and added RHP Taylor Cole to the major league roster.

Angels: RHP Felix Pena (0-0, 5.40 ERA) gets his third start of the season and first on the road when the Angels open up a weekend series in Baltimore on Friday.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2, 3.86) was on a six-start winning streak before taking the loss Saturday against Seattle. Rodriguez is scheduled to go up against Yankees LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 3.18) in the series opener Friday night.

Colts RB Robert Turbin suspended four games for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin has been suspended four games for using performance-enhancing drugs, the league announced Friday.

He will be eligible to return October 1, ahead of the team’s Week 5 game at New England on Oct. 4.

The Colts, under new coach Frank Reich, will rely on Mack and rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins during Turbin’s suspension. They also have Christine Michael and Josh Ferguson on the roster.

I really don’t look at myself as a defensive end or a linebacker or a cornerback or a safety.

When you turn on the film, you can’t tell that I have asthma. I’m at my best when people are depending on me. If it’s just on me and I don’t have nothing to do, I’m going to be lazy. On the football field, it’s every single day, every play, knowing that people are depending on me to make my play. That helps me elevate my game to another level.

Oh man, tearing my ACL in 2013 was one of the toughest parts of my football career. I was coming off a six-game suspension too [for violating the league’s substance abuse policy], and there was a whole lot of doubt and uncertainty. For the most part, it was just me and my mom in Pensacola, Florida I couldn’t drive, so she would take me to rehab, she’d bring me back home, feed me. And it was just me and her everyday. It was at that moment where I was like, I’m never going to be back here. There’s nothing worse than looking at an article and seeing: Von Miller tore his ACL, plus he’s coming off suspension. And when he played this year he wasn’t looking the same he did as the year before. Is he ever going to be able to be the same? I’m 24 years old and people think my best years are past me! [laughs] It was definitely a tough, trying time.

Even though I’m a defensive player, I throw 100 balls every day and catch 100 balls. I’m trying to go through the whole motion like Peyton Manning does. I try to be great at everything. I try to show them that I can run, I can pass, I try to get out there early and do all that stuff. I like to show the coaches that I can play offense and defense. But our offense, we’ve got a team full of killers over there… but if they need me, I’m ready to go!

A seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, Hal has been a starter for most of the past three seasons, intercepting nine passes and making 155 tackles in that stretch.

From a lineup perspective, Houston seems to be well positioned to withstand Hal’s absence after signing veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency before taking Stanford’s Justin Reid in the third round of the draft.

But Hal’s battle will certainly be a galvanizing factor in the locker room until his expected return.

The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family. Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement and team-first attitude, said coach Bill O’Brien.

How Clint Frazier’s maturity is impressing Yankees

That’s been the story all season for the highly regarded slugger, who has mashed at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while waiting for an extended chance at the big-league level.

Philly ran it to success and scored a touchdown from Nick Foles to Torrey Smith. GM Howie Roseman texted her after the play (!) to let her know that one was for you, which shows just how appreciated she was. Cullen also noted to McManus she was devastated by the team’s decision to fire her.

The ring is pretty sweet too. It features a whopping 127 diamonds, a nod to the Philly Special play from the Super Bowl victory. The Eagles have done just about everything right over the last few months and it’s extending to the offseason, even when it comes to dishing out jewelry to former team employees. The karma points keep piling up in Philly.

That’s scary, especially since they’ve since upgraded that group by essentially trading in their reigning receiving touchdown leader, Sammy Watkins, for Brandin Cooks. 

Cooks also would have led the Rams in touchdown catches last year after he recorded seven with the Patriots, marking the third consecutive year in which the 24-year-old 2014 first-round pick recorded at least 65 catches for 1,000-plus yards and seven or more touchdowns. 

But he won’t even be the centerpiece of a core that features reigning Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley in the backfield, two other high-quality young receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods (both caught more than 65 percent of the passes thrown their way and averaged more than 13 yards per catch in 2017) and two highly drafted young tight ends in Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

The only other quarterback besides Brees with three 2017 Pro Bowlers in his arsenal? Kansas City Chiefs prodigy Patrick Mahomes II, who will enter his first full season as the team’s starter with one Pro Bowler at all three supporting offensive skill positions.