LSU Football

LSU Football: Cam Cameron Smart Choice to Lead Tigers' Offense

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 19: Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron (C) and wide receiver Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrate after the Ravens scored against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

Jim Caldwell was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens on December 12th, 2012. After the team subsequently went on to win Super Bowl XLVII, he became a local hero. Caldwell, as the narrative was written, infused energy into an otherwise listless attack.

The leader of that previous underwhelming unit? None other than the LSU Tigers' reported next offensive coordinator.

It's not official yet, but per CBS reporter Bruce Feldman, the Tigers are looking to bring in seasoned offensive guru Cam Cameron:

Given the circumstances of Cameron's 2012-13 season, this move is sure to be met with some disapproval. He was fired in December, when the Baltimore Ravens were struggling to move the ball, and once he left their offense clicked. His conservatism was denounced far and wide as the reason Baltimore didn't turn the corner sooner.

But that very conservatism is what could make him such a good fit in Baton Rouge.

Under former offensive boss Greg Studrawa, the Tigers' offense struggled to find an identity. Pistol formations, mobile quarterbacks and big plays are the rage nowadays, and likely what some LSU fans would have preferred. But even if Cam Cameron doesn't embrace those radical notions, he can surely help mend the Tigers' main problem; unlike Studrawa, he knows and reveres his conservative identity.

Which isn't to say his teams can't score a lot of points. He served as offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers for five seasons, and his tenure was wildly successful. In 2004 they broke the team record for points scored in a season (446), then broke that milestone in 2006 with 492.

The year after Cameron left, San Diego "only" scored 412.

More importantly than anything, though, Cameron has a deft touch with young quarterbacks. Among the names he's helped shape in his career are Jim Harbaugh, Elvis Grbac, Todd Collins, Gus Frerotte, Trent Green, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers. Even if he wasn't able to channel Joe Flacco as well as Jim Caldwell, that's an impressive resume and a half. 

In Zach Mettenberger, LSU has a quarterback who needs that kind of tutelage—the kind of guy who, if properly mentored, could emerge as one of the nation's best. So far his career has been marred by banal offenses and low-scoring snooze-fests. With Cameron by his side, those could soon become things of the past. Mettenberger can show off his prototypical NFL skills in a prototypical NFL offense. It's a match made in heaven.

Between what happened this season and his 1-15 stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Cameron's name is mired in professional ignominy. But there's a reason he keeps getting jobs and a reason Les Miles trusts him so much as to give him the reigns to his offense.

It's because he's the right man for the job.

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