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Merril Hoge says Tim Tebow just can’t play

42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards - Show

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 20: NFL player Tim Tebow speaks onstage at the 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards at The Fox Theatre on April 20, 2011 in Atlanta City. The show airs on GMC on Sunday April 24th 2011. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for GMA)

Rick Diamond

Former Steelers and Bears fullback Merril Hoge watches a lot of all-22 game film in his role as an analyst on ESPN’s NFL Matchup, and after watching film of the Denver Broncos from last season, Hoge says he knows who their starting quarterback should be: Kyle Orton.

In fact, in a series of posts on Twitter this morning, Hoge said the idea that Tim Tebow should be a starter is absurd.

“Sitting watching tape of Bronco offense from last year!” Hoge wrote. “Orton or Tebow? It’s embarrassing to think the Broncos could win with Tebow!!”

Hoge’s tweets (which I’ve lightly edited for clarity) mocked the idea that just because Tebow was a Heisman Trophy-winning college star, that means he can hack it in the NFL.

“Orton or Tebow? QB play is not just about who works hard gives rah-rah college speeches or who is a good guy,” Hoge wrote. “Because Orton works hard and is a good guy as well. It’s about who can play!!”

When Tebow was a star at Florida, he was a great fit for the Gators’ spread offense, but he wasn’t asked to do the things an NFL quarterback does, and his throwing motion looked awkward. Hoge says that Tebow’s throwing motion hasn’t improved and his accuracy is a mess.

“I just watched Tebow throw five out routes to a wide open wide receiver,” Hoge wrote. “He was 1-for-5! Two went in dirt two in the stands! That throwing motion he changed? You can’t change who you are! Just watched two throws and he throws like he did in college!! College credentials do not transfer to NFL, rah-rah speeches do not work! You must possess a skill set to play! Tebow struggles with accuracy!”

In other words, Hoge thinks the Broncos will be much better off when “the Tebow thing” is behind them, and Orton is declared their starter.