Jay Busbee

  • Mike Smith ends his season, and possibly Falcons tenure, on ugly note

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 12 hrs ago

    ATLANTA – If you're looking for visual metaphors of the Atlanta Falcons' season, it's tough to beat this one: a drain backed up just outside the team's locker room, spewing water and God knows what else onto the Georgia Dome floor.

    Falcons head coach Mike Smith knows this lesson by heart at this point: just when you think things can't get any worse, they somehow do. And in all likelihood, he'll remove that job title from his name by nightfall Monday.

    Coming into this Sunday, Smith had watched his Falcons bumble their way to a 6-9 record, including inexcusable losses to the Detroit Lions in London and the Cleveland Browns at home. And yet, thanks to the stunning complementary incompetence of the rest of his division, Smith entered Sunday's game with an opportunity to win the freaking NFC South, to take this misbegotten team to the playoffs even though his seat had been nuclear-hot all season.

    “I’m here as the football coach until [Falcons owner] Arthur Blank tells me anything different," Smith said after the game, his frustration at answering the exact question so many weeks in a row evident.

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  • Cam Newton leads a suddenly dangerous Panthers team into playoffs

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 14 hrs ago

    ATLANTA – Cam Newton was the last of the playoff-bound Carolina Panthers still on the Georgia Dome field, progressing through the gauntlet of two-question TV hits. Yes, the 34-3 win over Atlanta was an impressive victory; yes, they were ready for the playoffs, yes, yes, yes. Smiles all around.

    Halfway around the lower edges of the Dome, fans in Carolina Blue stood three and four deep, foam claws and teal hats (and the occasional turncoat Falcons fan) everywhere. They shouted “WE WANT CAM!” back and forth, threatening to overwhelm his interviews.

    The last question asked and answered, Newton could have walked toward the portal at the northeast corner of the Georgia Dome, the most direct route to his locker room. Instead, Newton took off at a dead sprint … in the opposite direction.

    Newton ran straight toward the fans, starting at roughly the 50-yard-line and circling the inside of the Dome, his progress slowed only when he crashed into a retaining fence and surely stopped some Carolina hearts. He slapped as many hands as he could, and then threw his towel high into the stands. There were plenty of fans still there to grab at it.

  • Colin Kaepernick nails a sideline mic with a pass

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 17 hrs ago

    So if you've ever wondered what it sounds like getting hit in the head by a Colin Kaepernick pass, wonder no longer. Kaepernick, on the run, flung up a throwaway, and boom! Right on the parabolic mic. Now imagine that was your skull.

    It's been a season to forget for San Francisco, and when one of your most accurate throws all year takes out expensive audio equipment, well ... that's just the kicker. Offseason can't come soon enough.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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  • Odell Beckham Jr. makes yet another ridiculous catch

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 19 hrs ago

    The New York Giants have had yet another atrociously awful season, finishing 6-10 and needing three wins in their final five games to manage even that. And yet there's something hopeful about New York, something that keeps you from writing them off like their divisional brethren the Redskins or their stadium-mates the Jets.

    That something is Odell Beckham Jr., the rookie who could pull an eagle out of the sky. He did exactly that on Sunday with another gravity-defying, sticky-fingered Cirque-du-Soleil-worthy grab that you can see above. He also scored a 63-yard touchdown that ended with him running backward into the end zone. No big deal.

    He's also given the Giants a new rallying cry: if you're gonna stink, at least look good doing it.

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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    And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.

  • Andrew Luck, Tom Brady call it a day after one half of work

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 20 hrs ago

    There's a reason most fantasy football leagues end before Week 17: because sometimes the best players play themselves into an early vacation.

    Tom Brady and Andrew Luck, quarterbacks of two playoff-bound AFC teams, put in 30 minutes of work and clocked out on Sunday, having done enough for the regular season.

    Luck went 10-for-16 for 160 yards and two touchdowns in one half, and racked up the accolades. He set the Colts' franchise passing record (a franchise, remember, that once had a guy named Manning throwing for it). His two touchdowns gave him 86 in the first three years of his career, more than any other player in NFL history except Dan Marino, who had 98. And Luck, who threw his 39th and 40th touchdowns of the year, is the eighth player in NFL history to throw 40 or more touchdowns in a season. He left the game leading the Tennessee Titans 17-7, a contest the Colts would win, 27-10.

    Brady's sallow performance will certainly spur questions about momentum, but as he showed earlier this year, Brady has little trouble rebounding from even terrible performances.

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  • Ragnar the Viking joins cheerleaders

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 21 hrs ago

    These are tense times in the NFL. Playoff bids on the line, coaches coming and going, players seeing the end of their season and, in many cases, their careers.

    There are many games in Week 17 with significant postseason ramifications. Vikings-Bears is not one of them, which is why we bring you this highlight of Ragnar the Viking trying out for the cheerleader squad. Let a little sunshine in, everybody:

    You're gonna miss this kind of stuff when it's April and football is many months away, we guarantee it.

    [Via SB Nation]

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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    And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.

  • Rex Ryan has cleaned out his office

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Black Monday has come early to New York.

    According to NJ Advance Media, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has cleaned out his office at the team's headquarters. The Jets will be playing in Miami on Sunday, and it appears Ryan doesn't anticipate his tenure with the team will last much longer than the final horn.

    Jets owner Woody Johnson has reportedly solicited the assistance of Charley Casserly in seeking out new candidates to replace Ryan and general manager John Idzik, and Casserly has apparently begun that search in earnest. When word got back to Ryan, he began packing up, according to NJ.com.

    [Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 17 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,840 teams paid]

    There will be much more to discuss about Ryan once his apparent firing becomes official. For now, this should make Sunday's game against Miami interesting from both an emotional and an effort perspective.

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  • Titans coach knows fans want team to lose, possibly get No. 1 pick

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    There comes a point for every NFL team that's pretty bad when they have to make a choice: just how bad do we want to be? Granted, the NFL isn't like the NBA, where tanking can get you a franchise-changing player, but when you've got the opportunity to hold the first pick in a stocked draft, how much are you willing to do to get it?

    The Tennessee Titans face such a choice, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt understands that his fans' desires and his team's desires may not run in the same direction. The Titans want a victory, the fans want the opportunity to pick up a player who could get them many more victories down the road.

    "From a fan's perspective, I understand that, but you want to win. That's what you're geared in to do," he said. "That's why we're in this business. We're trying to do that. I don't worry as much about that until the season's over, but I certainly respect their feelings on that."

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  • Giants punter visits NYPD precinct, laughs about Christmas Eve drug test

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    It's been a lively couple of days for Giants punter Steve Weatherford. First, he spent a solemn hour before practice Tuesday visiting a precinct of the New York Police Department to offer support in the wake of last week's tragic shooting of two officers.

    “What they do for us on a daily basis, I know it doesn’t get enough credit,” Weatherford said, according to the New York Daily News. “People don’t say ‘Thank you’ enough for the times that they don’t need the police because everything is under control and everybody is safe. It’s a very thankless job, and I just wanted to go there and really just tell them ‘Thank you for doing what you do for us, for putting your life in danger on a daily basis to afford us the safety and security so we can sleep peacefully at night,’ and ‘I appreciate everything that you do.’”

    It was an honor to spend the morning with the #NYPD 18th precinct. Thank you for all you do. pic.twitter.com/PO4F2T0Z3x

  • Seahawks fan overcome with emotion thanks to Christmas gift from team

    Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner 5 days ago

    So this is Alex, and he's a hardcore Seahawks fan. He's also the fortunate recipient of a pretty sweet gift from the team: a signed helmet. Alex is overcome with emotion, exactly the way the rest of you ungrateful types ought to be when you get gifts.

    [Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 17 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,840 teams paid]

    The home video is VERY long and VERY home-video-ey; the good stuff starts at about the 2:30 mark, but we've excerpted it right here for you:

    Congrats to Alex, and nice work, Seahawks. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.

    (Helmet tip: SB Nation)

    ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

    Follow @jaybusbee

    And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.