In the 2013 season, Zach Mettenberger will deal with his fifth offensive coordinator in as many seasons.
New LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron met Mettenberger on Friday, the fifth such meeting Mettenberger has had with a new offensive coordinator since he began his college career.
He started with Mike Bobo at Georgia, then he moved to Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., and since moving to LSU he has worked with Steve Kragthorpe, Greg Studrawa and now Cameron in two-plus years.
New year, new coordinator, it would seem.
When he was introduced Friday, Cameron said he would have to respect the road his quarterback has been down already.
"I ran into Zach in the hallway yesterday," Cameron said. "The one thing I wanted to let him know was I'm coming in all ears at this point. Guys that play at this level have had great high school careers and are in their fourth or fifth year. There are certain things you like to do. There are certain things you know you are really good at."
It's not that Mettenberger will get to just run the offense at his whim. His junior season at LSU, during which he guided the Tigers to a 10-3 record, doesn't command that kind of freedom. In his first season as the Tigers' starter, he threw for 2,609 yards, 12 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, in starting all 13 games. While the numbers were respectable, they hardly lived up to the "Mett-siah" title some were attaching to him before he started a game for LSU.
He was supposed to be the the pure pro-style passer who was to take the Tigers' offense to a higher level. That did not happen, partly because of an injury-riddled and young offensive line, LSU's emphasis on the running back, the slow and inconsistent development of the wide receivers and partly because of Mettenberger's own issues.
Those were modest numbers -- if they were better, perhaps he would not have been meeting a new offensive coordinator Friday.
"We are going to test every limit he has and see what he can do," Cameron said. "We are just building on what we are doing."
Cameron's expectations with Mettenberger will be as great as Mettenberger's own expectations were as he entered 2012. Cameron's history with Drew Brees, Philip Rivers (whose younger brother, Stephen Rivers, is one of Mettenberger's backups), Joe Flacco will have LSU fans expecting Cameron to draw out Metttenberger's potential.
"You really can't too far ahead of yourself in college," Cameron said. "If you focus on being as good as you can be and doing the things to become the best player you can possibly be, all of a sudden they are all-Americans or headed to the Senior Bowl or winning championships in college. They get a chance in the National Football League."