Blog Entry

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:59 pm
Tebow is converting non-believers with each come-from-behind win. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Way back in in August, a week after the lockout ended and just days into training camp, ESPN analyst Merril Hoge spoke frankly about Tim Tebow's prospects as an NFL quarterback. Via Twitter, Hoge said "It's embarrassing to think the Broncos could win with Tebow!!" Later he added, "College credentials do not transfer to NFL raw raw [sic] speeches do not work! You must poses [sic] a skill set to play! Tebow struggle [sic] with accuracy!"

Tebow's response (also via Twitter): "Hey Merril, 'ppreciate that."

Four months later and not only is Tebow the Broncos' starting quarterback, he's 7-1 in the role, the team is on a six-game winning streak, and they're atop the AFC West by one game over the Raiders.

Turns out, college "rah rah speeches" do work in the NFL. And even Hoge can admit that now. During a Monday appearance on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show, he owned up to his mistake.

"The lessons that (the Broncos) are showing (are) what sports are about. ... I've been obviously very hard on Tim Tebow, very critical of him as a quarterback and his skill set," he said.

"... I've been wrong on a lot of levels with (Tebow). I've lost the ability, or the opportunity, I should say ... to shed light on what an amazing story (about) how he has worked, persevered, changed -- his diligence -- all those things that you try to teach young people ... (what) sports are really about."

Tebow, we'd imagine, has already forgiven him.

As an analyst, it's Hoge's job to weigh in on players -- good or bad. And it's not like he was the only guy beating the "Tebow is really, really bad" drum. Just about everybody thought he had no chance to succeed in today's NFL with a style that is better suited for the college game. The widespread belief that Tebow was overmatched extended into November, after he was summarily dismantled by the Lions in his worst game of the season. The aftermath was particularly brutal.

An anonymous Detroit player told's Michael Silver that Tebow was "embarrassing" and "a joke."

The post-mortem also included this from Hoge: "Watching last week's tape, the thing that was most disturbing was his ability to not understand where the ball has to go. His [lack of] awareness is mind-boggling to me." And CBS Sports' Boomer Esiason said that what the Lions did to Tebow “…means that there’s no respect for Tim Tebow as the quarterback. And they want to make sure that when they play him, they want to show that to the world that Tim Tebow can not play in this league at this position.”

Such sentiments have changed in recent weeks, and those who continue to pan Tebow do so reflexively and irrationally because as's Gregg Doyel wrote Monday, "…We can't [explain it]. Nor do we have to. Whatever Tebow is doing, and however he's doing it, it defies description. Beauty usually does."

Returning to Hoge's original tweets one more time, even Broncos executive vice president John Elway, also one-time skeptic, admits that Tebow has the uncanny ability to motivate his teammates to greatness.

During a recent appearance on 102.3 the Ticket in Denver, Elway was asked why he thinks the team rallies about Tebow (via

“I think when you look at it I guess I just believe everyone believes that something good is going to happen," Elway said. "Tim’s been the guy that has led that thinking and he’s just such a strong believer. He’s got everyone else believing that if you stay strong, stay positive, that something good is going to happen. There’s no question that those things … that you really can’t explain that are happening are happening. It’s the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking."

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Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:22 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

for some it will take more than just your eyes to see he is special.

he just is.  he overcomes the drops, he overcomes the conservative play calling, he overcomes the mistakes - his and others, he over comes.

would it have been different if cutler and forte played, im sure it wouldve - theyre different guys.  same chances for a Bronco win though.

its funny how all the orton supporters screamed about hwo it wasnt ortons fault that the broncos just sucked.  and now all the tebow haters scream its because the broncos are great that they are winning.

Orton had a pro bowl wr in lloyd also, TT?
demaryius thomas? 22 career catches when TT took over.
Eric decker?  27 career catches when TT took over
eddie royal? he had a great rookie year, then nothing 2nd year 37 catches 3rd year 57 catches and this year prior to game 6 when TT took over? 4 catches prior to TT.
matt willis? 2 catches over 3 years and 6 catches prior to TT taking over.
must be the TE? Daniel Fells? 80 catches in 4 years

so that wonderful collection of recievers is what TT had to bring along.  Yeah you're right any qb in the league could win and put up big numbers with some an accomplished group of all stars at WR.  you're kidding right? its amazing that he has the stats he has. 
Ok so even an idiot can understand that TT hasnt had the best in WR but he has had an inspired Mcgahee right? its got to be all the running game right? lets see.  Mcgahee has had 6 100 yard games and 3 came during the 1-4 start.  3 came in the 7-1 since then but he has also had 3 games where he got less than 50 yards during that 7-1 streak. so you really want to go with, its all about mcgahee? seriously 3good games 3 horrible games in the 8 that we went 7-1.  ok.

So then its all about the Defense. (im not even going to justify responding to the "lets not forget the kicker" - thats just stupid) The D? since TT took over the denver offense has had only 9 turnovers in 8 games.  so im sure our plus/minus will be great because its such a great D right? - plus 1 average points given up by the D? average given up? 20.25 points. 340 yards per game and thats 1 yard per game better than hapless KC, all against teams as you geniuses keep pointing out were without their best players.   

Dont worry I got it.  No matter what your own eyes should be telling you.  you want to hang on to 1 thing.  Tebow is no good.  no matter how good he plays with limited offensive help, no matter how many games he pulls out.  You will want to say its anything other than TT because afterall Orton had way more success with the same team....oh wait it wasnt the same team he had a pro bowl WR AND he didnt do better or even as good.  

You people are crazy 

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:09 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Hoge is just another loser talking head working for disney sports.  I really wish people would just tune those idiots out.  They're dumb.

Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:50 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

For those of you who still think this article is about Tebow... I say you're wrong.

This article is and should be about a talking-head analyst owning up when he's wrong about something, and that's an important event these days.  I note that Merril did not say that his analysis of Tebow's fundamentals was wrong, and I think that he can safely stick by his guns on that front; when he made the statements, every indication was that Tebow's flaws were huge, and Hoge's estimation was that those fundamental problems would result in Tebow being met with no success.  He was wrong on that last part.  What he said this time around is that he misjudged the importance of leadership, diligence, persevereance, and so forth that Tim overflows with.

Being able to gracefully admit when your assessment was incorrect is a very important part of many people's success - a doctor, any scientist, a parent, an NFL quarterback... all of these people need to be able to admit they were wrong while maintaining the confidence people have in them, and really, a sports analyst would benefit from that same skill.

When we can be honest in our assessments of ourselves as well of our assessments of others, we can ultimately have a better and more fruitful discussion of our world.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:24 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

People (Hodge included) said Tebow was horrible and could NOT play in the NFL. Today, statistically (passer rating) Tebow is in the top half of the NFL QBs...and that doesn't account for his running stats. The fact is, Tebow has an average passer skillset but is a SUPERIOR leader. That equals a good QB.

Since: Nov 11, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:57 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

4 months ago he was not capable of playing in the NFL, now he's a "middle of the road QB" That would make roughly 16 QB's that are worse than him...

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:12 pm

Admit What?

What was he really wrong about??  The fact that Tebow has will never be more than a middle of the pack quarterback at best?  That defense in Denver is the reason that they are where they are despite the poor performance of the offense.   Let's not forget the kicker!!!!  Or that Offensive line that provides all of the time in the world for him to stand in the pocket.  BUT NO it all about TIMMY.  Still trying to figure out why Chicago went into a deep prevent and allowed Tebow to just toss the ball to wide open receivers.

Since: Aug 23, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:02 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Did it ever occur to you that the extra 3 minutes time of possession and overall lack of turnovers (Tebow had 5 in 8 starts) since Tebow took over might have something to do with the defense suddenly coming alive, or are you incapable of any real football analysis and just regurgitate what everyone else spouts off. Not having to defend a short field and eating up clock means your defense is fresh, and go figure, more effective. (I know he has plenty of 3 and outs, but the TOP difference is still there) Convenient of you not to mention that in two of eight starts they've put up over 35 pts. Or how about the fact that he's learning his second offense in 2 years? Or the fact John Fox hasn't presided over a productive passing attack since Delhomme like 4-5 years ago (Orton was sucking way more early in the year than Tebow). Guess it's hard to listen to logic?

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Apologizing was gutless for Merril. He was right and is still right about Tebow regarding his analysis of him as an NFL QB and his lack of a true NFL skill set. This Denver win streak is all smoke and mirrors- bad teams combined with fortune and amazing luck. I'd be more impressed with the anaylst who will have the onions to contiue to say publicly that he still thinks Tebow is a sub-standard NFL QB. Everyone thought Michael Vick and then Vince Young would change the way an NFL QB plays...uh, how'd that work out? And they both had better NFL skills than Tebow. I wish him well, but two years from now he'll be someone's tight end.

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

Yes cuz of course most guys in their fifth start ever, with a 2-4 team would tear up a team like the lions, of course!!  Too bad he's improving every game and is gonna be a way better player than denard robinson

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:20 pm

Merril Hoge admits he was wrong on Tim Tebow

All of you that doubted him, did not watch him play at Florida.  We knew he had a cannon for an arm, accurate to the point that he would only throw where his receiver could get it in a crowd, and he was a great person and hard worker.

But for your enjoyment,

Twas the week before Christmas, when the Pats went to play,

 a team that had a QB, that played the ol fashioned way.

When his horses started out, they were one and four,

and now near the playoffs, they are busting down the door.

Some say it's his faith that makes him so great,

but most say it’s the defense, or opponents that let him win late.

Regardless of why, it has happened just so,

 and up at mile high, the wind will sure blow.

The white stuff will fall and cold it will be,

but when launched through the air, no catches to see.

On LawFirm, on Woodhead the team would rely,

but the Broncos would stop it, as the clock's ticking by.

Timmy T would tuck it and then he would run,

to the end-zone he’d go like being shot from a gun.

The coaches would yell,  when the game’s out of hand,

nd Tom’s only reply was to say "Go to -ell!"  as he makes one last stand. 

The 4th qtr is done as he's shedding a tear,

because the scoreboard says it all, and this he does fear.

Tim Tebow has won and it was quite a fight, and as you know, he exclaims,

 "God Bless you all, and to all Goodnight"



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