Mettenberger: Paging Philip Rivers

March, 27, 2012
3/27/12
10:04
PM ET
Stephen Rivers said he doesn't mind getting asked a lot about his famous brother, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

"It's not so bad," the LSU redshirt freshman quarterback said. "Pretty much every interview I do, there's a question about my brother. I don't mind it because there aren't really many negatives with it."

But there's one guy who's taken to giving Rivers a hard time about his brother.

"I keep busting his (chops) about getting his brother down here to throw with us," LSU starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger said. "I'd really like his brother to come down here and work with him."

But the new Tigers starter is understanding as to why his backup hasn't been able to clear time on his schedule.

"He's got six kids and (number) seven on the way, so he's pretty busy," Mettenberger said.

But don't worry, Mettenberger has found a starting NFL quarterback to work with.

"I get to hang out with Matt Flynn alot," said Mettenberger of the former LSU quarterback who recently signed a three-year deal to be the new starter for the Seattle Seahawks. "I picked his brain a lot, watched him a lot on film."

Mettenberger may relate with Flynn in some regards. Like Flynn, who was Aaron Rodgers' long-time backup at Green Bay after leading LSU to the 2007 national championship, Mettenberger will come into the 2012 season as a highly anticipated new starter for his team, but with no experience as being the starter for a team at his level.

'Just embarrass my man': Sam Montgomery was plenty good as a sophomore in 2011. The defensive end led LSU in sacks with nine, made first team All-SEC and various all-American teams and was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award.

How does he plan on improving on that?

"The biggest thing I have to work on in my game is consistency," he said. "I'll go hard some plays, but I'm trying to get to the point where I can go in a play and just embarrass my man. Last year, I tried to embarrass my man as much as I could, but I don't even want it to look close.

"I want him to be a yo-yo on a string. I can play with him when I want to."

Collins catches Reid's eye: When Tyrann Mathieu missed LSU's last scrimmage because of injury, redshirt freshman Jalen Collins started.

A couple of days later, another veteran in the Tigers secondary singled out the Olive Branch, Miss., native as a player to watch.

"From a defensive standpoint (a young player who will impress) will be Jalen Collins," free safety Eric Reid said. "He's a guy we're going to have to count on. He still has some growing up to do so we are going to have to make sure to get him ready."

More throws to the tight ends?: A season ago, LSU quarterbacks completed just 28 passes to tight ends, only eight to tight ends who are returning for 2012.

So what can LSU fans expect from the tight ends next season?

"Everybody wants the ball in their hands," said Chase Clement, the senior who is likely to replace DeAngelo Peterson as the Tigers starter at tight end. "But to see the amount of blocking and the physicality of the position, I think a lot of people will be impressed."

To hear that, it would appear that the tight ends will be looked at more for their run blocking than as passing game threats.

But don't write them off in the passing game, either.

"We are implementing the same routes and the same concepts as last year, but their understanding of the playbook and the understanding of route running, they are getting open more," Mettenberger said of his tight ends. "It's making it easier to trust them to be where they are supposed to be and I think that's the biggest thing."

Clement, with seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown last season, is the leading returning receiver among tight ends. Travis Dickson, the younger brother of former LSU starting tight end Richard Dickson, is the only other returning LSU tight end who caught a pass last season.

Gary Laney | email

Reporter, GeauxTigerNation

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