For Zach Mettenberger, the abrupt firing of Cam Cameron from the Baltimore Ravens last December perhaps couldn't have come at a better time. It was just a couple of months later that LSU coach Les Miles hired Cameron to sharpen the Tigers' offense, and Cameron has done so by sharpening Mettenberger's all-around game into one that holds promise for his NFL future.
And that's exactly what Mettenberger, who entered the season with only a mediocre season of experience and one year left to go at LSU, needed. The pressure is on where a pro career is concerned, and under Cameron, the senior is rising to the challenge.
"If I go out next week and lay an egg, I don't think NFL scouts are going to be looking at me closely," Mettenberger said, according to shreveporttimes.com. "All we can worry about is beating Florida."
To date, Cameron's tutelage of Mettenberger has produced dramatic results. He leads the Southeastern Conference in pass efficiency at 190.1, and he'll have every opportunity to reach the 2,000-yard passing mark by early October heading into Saturday's game against the Gators. Cameron worked with Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco from 2008-12 with the Ravens, and sees Mettenberger much the same.
"He's got a similar arm to Joe. I would imagine that he will have one of the stronger arms in college football. He's got an NFL arm," Cameron told baltimoresun.com earlier this year. "He's a sneaky-good athlete. He might go through a similar progression to what Joe went through. He's really raw. He's only started here one year. Joe didn't play a lot of college football."
An inability to read defenses and the occasional interception were the factors that made Mettenberger's pro prospects uncertain after his first season starting at LSU. This season under Cameron, he's answered both shortcomings, firing 15 touchdown passes to just two interceptions, and delivering career-best seasons for junior receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
Cameron's NFL coaching experience found an ideal home in Baton Rouge. And Mettenberger has benefited even more than Cameron.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.