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Tebow’s preseason performance fails to impress Hoge

Tim Tebow

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up during NFL football training camp on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the team’s practice facility in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)


ESPN’s Merril Hoge has staked a claim as the foremost critic of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. And if you think Tebow’s 6-for-7, 91-yard preseason performance last week is going to change Hoge’s mind, think again.

Hoge said today that he thinks Tebow’s mechanics are such a mess that there’s simply no turning him into an effective NFL quarterback.

“You’ve got to look at a couple flaws that Tim Tebow had at Florida and still has in the National Football League that I don’t believe ever get better,” Hoge said. “First of all, his delivery is such an elongated motion that you have to have a complete, clear pocket for him to be successful down the field. If you don’t have that, you’re going to struggle.”

In the Broncos’ preseason game against the Cowboys, Tebow completed a 43-yard pass to Matt Willis on a ball that traveled about 50 yards in the air and hit Wills right in the hands, but what Hoge saw was Tebow having all day to pass on the play -- and needing it because it takes him so long to get the ball out.

“Yes, he completes it, but that’s a perfect setting,” Hoge said. “In the National Football League, almost 50 percent of all throws are under duress. So you’re not going to have that every time.”

Before last year’s NFL draft, there was a lot of talk about Tebow changing his throwing motion to become more of an NFL-style pocket passer. Hoge says it hasn’t worked, and Tebow’s throwing motion is the same as ever.

“His accuracy really struggles from that elongated motion,” Hoge said. “When you have a guy that elongated in his motion, he’s less accurate, he’s not as quick throwing the football. . . . That entices teams to blitz more. He takes more hits during the course of the game.”

According to Hoge, Tebow has developed so many bad habits as a passer that it’s too late for him to change. And he said that any player on the Broncos can plainly see that Tebow has no business being their starter.

“That will never change -- that will always be there,” Hoge said. “If they start Tim Tebow, players are not stupid. That coaching staff will have no respect from the players.”