LSU Football: Breaking Down Zach Mettenberger's Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses
The LSU Tigers' dream of having a viable passing threat will be answered in the form of Zach Mettenberger in 2012.
Going off of highlight reels, 2011 cleanup duty and the 2012 LSU Spring Game, Mettenberger looks the part. He's a 6'5", 220-pound pro-style quarterback, so he obviously offers something that neither Jordan Jefferson nor Jarrett Lee offered.
Though Mettenberger will see the field with his height, his biggest advantage comes in the shape of his arm.
Mettenberger dominated Butler Community College, throwing for 2,678 yards and 32 touchdowns with only four interceptions in 2010.
In warmups last season, it didn't take long to notice that he is the best pure throwing quarterback on the team. When Lee and Jefferson's efforts to put the ball on target seemed forced and pinpointed, Mettenberger's shots seemed effortless and smooth.
And though Mettenberger showed off that arm against Northwestern State with an 8-of-11, 92-yard performance, he unveiled his true throwing ability in the spring game.
Mettenberger's aerial attack was in full effect as he threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he showed that if teams so choose to load the box against the Tigers in 2012, they will pay the price for it.
But as good as all of that is, Mettenberger's greatest strength is his cool demeanor. Mettenberger doesn't get caught up in the moment and isn't easily shaken.
How do I know this? Well, any quarterback that's willing to scrap with a defensive lineman has to have a "long hair, don't care" mentality. In a practice during the spring, Mettenberger got into a physical altercation with a defensive lineman and landed some punches. Much like his Australian teammate, Brad Wing, Mettenberger has some swagger.
But while I consider that to be a strength, it also warrants cause for concern.
It makes me happy to see that Mettenberger isn't afraid of any challenge and is willing to face any challenge no matter how steep or how wide, but at the same time, he has to be level-headed. He's going to have to keep his cool and remain the leader of this team.
And let's not forget that he's had troubles with the law and problems with partying too much off the field. Hopefully, he's learned his lesson and has committed himself fully to the team.
As for his weaknesses on the field, he doesn't have too many. The obvious hole in his game is his mobility, but he's a pocket passer anyway.
With LSU's protection and willingness to pound the ball repeatedly with their stable of backs, being mobile isn't a necessary requirement from Mettenberger.
So how good is Mettenberger, what are his biggest weaknesses and strengths, and can he be the white knight for LSU football? It's up to Mettenberger to answer that, and with the season nearing, the hype continues to build for LSU and their new quarterback.
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