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Tim Tebow can't play, Kyle Orton should be Broncos QB, tweets ESPN's Merril Hoge

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A Kyle Orton trade to the Miami Dolphins, which seemed like a sure bet a week ago, is now on life support, even though Dolphins fans have been chanting for Orton. Why? Compensation is reportedly the reason. But there's also a chance the Broncos braintrust has decided chosen one Tim Tebow isn't up to the job -- a conclusion announced this morning in a virtual Twitter rampage by ESPN's Merril Hoge.

Hoge tapped out five tweets in quick succession on the subject. Here's the first:

Sitting watching tape off bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It's embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

Strong words... but Hoge is just getting started.

Orton or tebow? QB play is not just about who works hard gives rare rare college speeches or who is a good guy!! Because orton works hardless than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

"Rare-rare college speeches"? Actually, inspirational Tebow talks aren't that rare at all. But don't get hung up on that, because Hoge is still rolling.

And is a good guy as well. It's about who can play!! I just watched Tebow throw 5 out routes to a wide open WR! He was 1 for 5! 2 went inless than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

Tweet interruptus! His thought continues below.

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!!less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

And now, the grand finale.

College credentials do not transfer to NFL raw raw speeches do not work! You must poses a skill set to play! Tebow struggle with accuracy!less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

So now they're "raw-raw speeches" -- meaning they're uncooked, presumably? Wonder if Hoge's time in college (he attended Idaho State) included any lessons in spelling. Rah-rah...

That issue aside, Hoge's opinion about Tebow appears to be gaining traction not just among league observers in general, but also with members of the Denver media, if not yet a sizable portion of the fan base. Indeed, Orton's looked so impressive in training camp that 102.3 The Ticket's Charles Johnson and Joel Klatt spent part of their show yesterday arguing that the Broncos will be far better than most pundits expect this season -- and actually have a shot at making the playoffs.

Was there a nitrous oxide feed connected to the studio during the program? Don't know. But while the enthusiasm for Orton is clearly growing, he's got to prove during preseason and early season appearances that he can translate his polish under center in practice settings into wins in games that count. If he can manage that trick, then, and only then, will the drumbeat for Tebow quiet to a background rumble.

Until then, Hoge will be the grand marshal of the No Tebow parade.

More from our Sports archive: "Top 10 things 1st Broncos draft pick Von Miller could have bought with the $50 million he lost."

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