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ESPN's Merril Hoge would trade Tim Tebow in a heartbeat, he tells Denver radio station

You've got to credit ESPN's Merril Hoge. At least the man stands up for his tweets.

Yesterday, following his epic Twitter rampage against Tim Tebow, Hoge not only shared his thoughts about the Chosen One on assorted ESPN broadcasts, but he also guested for an extended (and sometimes testy) segment on 104.3/The Fan.

On the other side of the microphone from Hoge was his ESPN colleague, Mark Schlereth, cast in the peacemaker role, along with former Denver Bronco Alfred Williams and Darren "D-Mac" McKee, who didn't exactly embrace Hoge's every word.

Not that Williams disagreed with the contention that Tebow isn't ready to be Denver's day-one starting quarterback. He said on a number of occasions that Kyle Orton is currently the best QB in training camp. But he seemed rankled by Hoge's tone, suggesting that he was essentially an outsider sticking his nose in Broncos family business -- an extremely dubious contention. Does that mean no one outside of Minnesota, Green Bay or New York can have an opinion on Brett Favre? Or his alleged proclivity for texting pics of his shlong?

As for D-Mac, he was mostly frustrated that Hoge went off before attending camp and watching Tebow in action, instead basing his opinions on game tape from last season -- mainly the Broncos' 33-28 loss to San Diego. He also objected to the idea that Tebow simply has no chance to become a credible NFL player no matter how much effort he pours into achieving this goal.

None of this dented Hoge. When D-Mac asked -- facetiously, it seemed -- why the Broncos shouldn't simply get rid of Tebow if his prospects are so dire, Hoge replied that he'd trade him in a heartbeat if he could find a team so desperate to put butts in the seats that they'd sign him up, flaws and all.

Don't feel bad for Timmy, though. He's got at least one prominent defender: LeBron James, who no doubt thrilled Gator Nation by the way he talked up Tebow and attempted to take Hoge down a peg via a trio of tweets:

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 ... http://tmi.me/dWy5zless than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

Listened to Merril Hoge today on SC and he was just blasting Tebow. The man hasn't even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in.less than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

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!!less than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

Could LeBron experience a reputation reboot led by the Tebow Lovers of America? Maybe so. In the meantime, check out Hoge's 104.3/The Fan segment by clicking here.

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