Why LSU QB Zach Mettenberger Will Thrive in New System

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterApril 11, 2013

LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
LSU QB Zach MettenbergerKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

New coaches mean fresh starts for everyone involved in a program. That's good news for one SEC quarterback who's flying under the radar this offseason.

When Cam Cameron was hired to be LSU's new offensive coordinator in mid-February, it was a signal to the rest of the SEC that the Tigers weren't content with a stagnant passing game.

That sound you heard on Feb. 15 during Cameron's opening press conference was Tiger quarterback Zach Mettenberger applauding.

Cameron has a track record of working with successful quarterbacks from Trent Green and Gus Frerotte, to Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. He strives for balance between the running and passing attacks, drawing the defense up using a power rushing attack and then airing it out over the top.

In other words, he's exactly what LSU needs given the pieces it has in place for the 2013 season.

Mettenberger has a big arm. We know that, and we've seen that. He picked apart Alabama's defense to the tune of 298 yards and a touchdown last season. 

He was inconsistent at times last season when his protection failed, which happened quite a bit before the pieces settled into place along the offensive line late in the season.

But the potential is there. 

Take a look at the video below to see what Mettenberger is capable of.

That was an absolutely perfect throw to Kadron Boone for a touchdown in the 2012 game versus Texas A&M. That was at the end of the first half when LSU's offense was predictable, and he still dropped it in a bucket over the cornerback and in front of the safety.

Expect more of the same in 2013.

With Jeremy Hill leading a healthy stable of talented running backs, the Tiger offense will be able to play the physical brand of football that Cameron spoke of in his introductory press conference.

They'll be able to establish the running game, draw up the defensive backs and use a talented, yet underachieving group of wide receivers to stretch the field.

Will Cameron make Mettenberger a Heisman Trophy candidate?

Probably not. The foundation of LSU's offense will be the running game, and if Mettenberger puts up Heisman-like stats, something probably has gone terribly wrong.

But can the marriage of Mettenberger and Cameron lead LSU back into the SEC Championship Game despite massive roster turnover from last season? It's certainly possible.

Mettenberger has the big arm that will allow Cameron to stretch the field when needed, and we've seen evidence of that during spring practice. In LSU's first two scrimmages, Mettenberger is a combined 41-of-65 for 447 yards and three touchdowns in statistics released by the university.

Sure, practice stats are overblown and sometimes a potent offense could be an indictment of a defense more than anything else. But Mettenberger's performances so far this spring couldn't hurt.

Cameron has the scheme to fit Mettenberger's skills; and they both have the supporting cast to make LSU's offense dangerous in 2013.


Previous Profiles:
Tennessee DE Jacques Smith
Auburn WR Quan Bray



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