Where there's smoke...there must be fire, right? Right now, there's thick black smoke coming from the LSU football program right now as everyone plus their message-board-loving cousin is reporting that Cam Cameron is going to be LSU's next offensive coordinator. Word is no coach will be removed from the program, but popular thought has Studrawa moving back to offensive line coach while QB coach Steve Kragthorpe will take an administrative role. So does the addition of the recently removed Baltimore Ravens OC help the Tigers?
I certainly think so.
Cameron has a strong background as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. Before being Baltimore's OC, he served as OC at San Diego among other places, tutoring the likes of Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. Cameron also came in the same year as Joe Flacco, the guy who just left New Orleans as MVP of the Super Bowl.
His tenure at Baltimore came to a midseason ending, when the team was 9-4. Cameron got into a very public spat with Flacco, which in the professional ranks almost certainly always ends with the coach holding the bag. Thus, Cameron got to watch the Super Bowl from his couch, not from the press box of the Superdome.
It's easy to see Miles' gravitation to Cameron. First of all, both are Michigan Men who coached together for seven years under Bo Schembechler in the late 80's and early 90's. If you watched any of the Ravens offense this past year, or really any year of a Cameron-coached offense, you'll see familary concepts and game plans to what Miles has attempted to run since Crowton was run out of town. Indeed, Cameron was criticized for not using Ray Rice enough, but his attack is based off a pass-catching RB, utilizing the tight end, and working off of the running game.
An offense under Cameron will not have a spread look like a lot of college teams, but will probably look damn near exactly like what LSU fans see on the field now. You'll still see a run-based attack, but the idea is the offense will return to what worked in 2011, which was pairing a stout running game with shots down the field.
Granted, LSU couldn't do that as much in 2012 because of a lack of a down the field threat, but look for those deep shots to return in 2013. I can see Cameron using Mettenberger like he used Flacco, taking advantage of the big right arm.
A criticism of Cameron is his control-freak personality. This played into his demise in Baltimore, but LSU fans seem to believe this will point to a reduction in Miles' meddling in the offense, to the offenses advantage. I'm here to tell you those people are wrong. Miles is an offensive guy. He will never fully relinquish the reins. Where I see the positive is that Miles trusts Cameron's opinion and will let him run the offense as he sees fit, in a way that jives with what Miles wants to do on offense more closely than past OCs.
Nick Saban would never fully turn the defense over the Kirby Smart, neither would Alabama fans want him to. Miles is going to be involved in the offense as long as he's the head coach at LSU. If Cameron's philosophy lines up with Miles better, though, that should translate into a more effective offense with a better overall gameplan, which is ultimately where Studrawa failed.