Despite the Denver Broncos saying left tackle Ryan Clady’s knee—which he injured playing basketball—should be ready for the regular season, it’s clear that they’re not completely convinced. Or, at the very least, they’re trying to add insurance in the form of 6-foot-5-inch, 302-pound Maurice Williams.
The Broncos signed the 10-year veteran yesterday, according to Mile High Report. Williams, who has started 100 games, can play offensive guard and tackle, so he should provide some depth on a line that really needs it.
But that isn’t helping the Broncos right now with national pundits, who see Denver as a team in transition, at best. Sporting News writes that the Broncos are among a half dozen teams heading “for a fall,” citing the decision to pick quarterback Tim Tebow. “The story of the 2010 draft will continue to be Tebow,” NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger tells Sporting News. “It’s a move that puts the Broncos behind five years.”
Despite all the criticism, Tebow remains incredibly popular. ESPN held a contest yesterday asking fans to give Tebow a nickname, and says that for every 10 positive suggestions, there were five nicknames mocking him. Fans came up with things like “The Mile High Messiah” and “Tebowlicious,” but the negative ones came in the form of “Clipboard” and “Tebench.”
That inspired Deadspin to hold its own contest, especially with the knowledge that its readers aren’t quite as mature as ESPN’s. Many of the suggested nicknames aren’t appropriate for publication, but they do show that Tebow continues to be a lightning rod around the country.
Tebow’s jersey was the top-seller on NFLShop.com in the month of April and led all players, not just rookies (via New York Sports Journalism). That helped the Broncos’ merchandise become the top-seller in the NFL last month–a bit of good news for the team.