SPORTS
08/04/2011 12:37 pm ET | Updated Oct 18, 2011

Merril Hoge Rips Tim Tebow: LeBron James Comes To Broncos Quarterback's Defense [UPDATED]

Merril Hoge, an NFL analyst for ESPN and notable tie knotter, took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to express how unimpressed he is with Broncos quarterback and former University of Florida golden boy Tim Tebow.

Hoge voiced his doubt that Tebow has the chops to be the starter for the Broncos, citing his accuracy as a big problem.

"I just watched Tebow throw 5 out routes to a wide open WR! He was 1 for 5! Dirt 2 in the stands! That throwing motion he changed? U can't change who u r! Just watched 2 throws and he throws like he did in college!!," Hoge wrote via his Twitter account.

Update at bottom of story

He continued Thursday morning on Mike & Mike In The Morning.

"I compare him to Brian Bosworth as far as the hype. What Brian Bosworth did is he created all this hype about himself...he comes to the NFL [and he was] average at best," Hoge said via phone. "Because he'd come into this league with all this hype, players do not like that. They cannot stand that, and they go out of their way to take shots at him."

Hoge went on to say that Tebow has a "marginal skill set."

While Hoge may have a reason to endorse Kyle Orton over Tebow -- Orton had a stellar 2010 season for the Broncos, passing for over 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns -- the former Florida quarterback should take solace in some things.

The first is that his boss, former Broncos hall-of-famer John Elway, has absolute faith in him even if one particular analyst does not. Elway told ESPN last April that Tebow is a "great ambassador for us as a team. He realizes, and I've told him: the bottom line is, 'You can do all those things and make all those plays that a lot of guys can't do, and that's something you have that they don't.'"

LeBron James came to Tebow's defense on Wednesday.

"Tim Tebow will succeed in the NFL. He's a hard worker, a student of the game, a natural born leader and most of all a WINNER!" James wrote on Twitter. "Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played. How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!"

UPDATE: Tebow fired back at his critics on Thursday in an interview with the Denver Post.

"Others who say I won't make it are wrong," he said. "They don't know what I'm capable of and what's inside me. My family and my friends have been bothered by what's gone on, and I tell them to pay no attention to it. I'm relying as always on my faith."