LSU Tigers new coordinator Cam Cameron talks about working with QB Zach Mettenberger

Baltimore Ravens head coach Cam Cameron coaches against the Houston Texans in the first quarter at Reliant Stadium. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Cameron was hired on as the new LSU offensive coordinator after being fired from the same role with the Baltimore Ravens mid-season. As Cameron took the microphone for his introductory press conference, he understood that he was not at all the fan base’s first choice for the position.

“I can sense some concern, but I don’t have any concern,” Cameron said, as recapped by Pete Roussel of “I’m coming in with all ears. I want these men to teach me why they’ve been successful so far, and then how can I help build from where we are. Maybe some of you agree or disagree with that, but that’s where I am with this whole thing.”

However, those fans only saw Cameron’s extremely recent lack of success in Baltimore. They have failed to recollect the more than 10 years of winning play-calling at the professional level. They have failed to see his average of 10 wins per year as an offensive coordinator with both the San Diego Chargers and Ravens.

They have failed to understand the depth of his work in developing Drew Brees and then Phillip Rivers in San Diego, and then with Joe Flacco in Baltimore, and that is most pertinent to Tigers Nation.

LSU coach Les Miles brought in Zach Mettenberger from the junior college ranks prior to the 2011 season. Mettenberger transferred from Georgia, then dominated JUCO for a year and finally transferred to LSU. As the 2012 season approached, the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder was hailed as the missing puzzle piece to a team with real national championship aspirations. This especially after Tigers fans were forced to deal with the inconsistent play and playing time of seniors Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson.

However, Mettenberger’s struggles were well-documented. He only threw 12 touchdown passes compared to seven interceptions and nearly cost the team several games with his inept play at times. Once again, Miles was forced to lean heavily on the run game.

This is where Cameron comes in. The new Tigers coordinator plans to take the lessons he has learned from working with a number of NFL all-pro quarterbacks in order to help Mettenberger develop into an All-American himself.

But he understands that, of course, learning, practicing and developing is going to be a two-way street.

“I’m all ears at this point,” he said. “A guy gets into his 4th or 5th year, there are certain things you like to do. What does he like most? And then you talk about why do you like that? That doesn’t mean we’re not going to challenge Zach. We are. I think you really need his input.

“These kinds of quarterbacks (Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Joe Flacco), you can learn so much from them, especially when they communicate with you at a high level.”

Tigers fans everywhere, and even Miles, are hoping that such learning translates to touchdown passes. If LSU’s offense can play up to par with its annually elite defensive unit, there are very, very few teams in the country that will be able to compete with this national powerhouse.

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