Offensive coorindator Cam Cameron inherited a new offense at LSU that is nothing short of ordinary.
He has a tall, lanky, big-armed quarterback, a dynamic backfield, a top-tier offensive line and receivers who — when they actually hold on to the ball — can provide a threat at any level of the field.
Cameron saw this exact same formula play out to somewhat perfection in Baltimore, as the squad would eventually become 2013 Super Bowl Champions.
Over the course of five seasons as offensive coordinator for the Ravens, Cameron took a young power arm by the name of Joe Flacco and helped turn him into a World Champion and Super Bowl MVP.
But there was always something Cameron would do that would irk Ravens fans: he loved the mobile QB, and he made sure anyone watching the game knew about it.
Many people have stated that the 2013 Tigers will live and die with Zach Mettenberger under center.
I believe they won’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I see Mettenberger’s potential as much as the next guy, and his performance in 2012 was nothing to hang his head about. In a year where he threw for 2609 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions against Southeastern Conference competition, the now-senior QB stepped in and became a permanent starter for a program that previously had a revolving door at the position.
But last season was a year where Mettenberger — and only Mettenberger — was expected to lead the offense. It was a general consensus that backup Stephen Rivers wasn’t ready at the time, and LSU coach Les Miles stuck with his man until the end.
But in 2013, things look a little different.
Freshman QB Anthony Jennings, who has been raved about since he impressed during spring practices, brings athleticism to the table that has Cameron gushing.
“The way I view Anthony — Some people use the term ‘dual-threat quarterback’ and then ‘pocket quarterback,’” Cameron told Tiger Sports Digest before the 2013 Spring Game. “I look at him as a pocket-mobile quarterback. He’s very bright.”
Cameron has been known to find ways to integrate mobile QBs into his offensive schemes. During his five seasons in Baltimore, he had two such weapons: Former-Heisman winner Troy Smith and Tyrod Taylor.
Throughout games, Cameron would insert them into a number of offensive packages — mostly for running options — to help throw off opposing defenses. The potential for a runner with a cannon for an arm always seemed to intrigue him, and he stuck with the strategy until his eventual firing in December 2012.
If Smith wouldn’t have fallen ill due to tonsil problems in 2008, he would have been Baltimore’s starting QB ahead of Flacco. And who knows what direction the franchise would have gone in from there?
All I will say is this: no one can convince me that Jennings won’t get his chance in 2013.
He’s too dynamic a weapon, Mettenberger isn’t a Heisman candidate and Cameron loves a dual-threat option.
We’ll just have to wait and see if and when that chance will come.