Mettenberger with the Titans in 2014
|No. 7, 4, 18, 8|
|Born:||July 16, 1991|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||223 lb (101 kg)|
|High school:||Watkinsville (GA) Oconee County|
|NFL Draft:||2014 / Round: 6 / Pick: 178|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Zachary Rich "Zach" Mettenberger (born July 16, 1991) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at LSU. Mettenberger has also played for the San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football (AAF).
Mettenberger attended Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Georgia. As a senior on the football team, he threw 2,106 yards passing with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was ranked as the 11th best pro-style quarterback recruit in his class by Rivals.com.
Mettenberger originally attended the University of Georgia where he redshirted the 2009 season, but was kicked off the team due to a violation of team rules. On April 30, 2010, Mettenberger pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor sexual battery charges stemming from an incident at a bar near Valdosta, Georgia. He transferred to Butler Community College, where he became the starter for the 2010 season. In his lone season at Butler, he threw for 2,678 passing yards with 32 touchdowns and four interceptions. He led Butler to an 11–1 record and the JUCO National Championship game.
Prior to the 2011 season, Mettenberger transferred to Louisiana State University. In his first season at LSU, he completed 8-of-11 pass attempts for 92 yards and a touchdown in limited action. In 2012, he took over as the starting quarterback. He led the team to a 10–3 record, completing 58.8% of his passes for 2,609 yards, 12 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. With the arrival of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator in 2013, Mettenberger led LSU to a 9–3 regular season record, completing 64.9% of his passes for 3,082 yards, 22 touchdowns, and eight interceptions with a yards per pass attempt of 10.41 and a quarterback rating of 171.4. He was the first LSU quarterback to throw for 2,500 or more yards in back-to-back seasons and was a two-time team captain. Mettenberger tore his ACL in LSU's final regular season game against Arkansas. He underwent surgery and 13 weeks later, he fully participated in LSU's Pro Day. He threw nearly 125 passes while wearing a helmet and shoulder pads and completed over 90% of his passes. He graduated from Louisiana State in December 2013 with a degree in General Studies.
On October 22, 2014, the Titans decided that Mettenberger would start over Jake Locker and Whitehurst against the Houston Texans. Mettenberger and the Titans lost 30–16 to the Texans. Mettenberger was 27 of 41 for 299 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Mettenberger started against the Pittsburgh Steelers on his Monday Night Football debut on November 17, 2014, going 15-of-24 for two touchdowns and an interception and hitting former Steeler Nate Washington for an 80-yard touchdown. During a 36–7 blowout loss to the New York Giants, Mettenberger sustained a shoulder injury and missed the last 3 games. Mettenberger finished his rookie season with 8 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 1,412 passing yards while also rushing for 4 yards. He started in six games for the Titans, all losses.
Mettenberger played in seven games and started four of them in 2015 due to injuries to starter Marcus Mariota. He threw for 935 yards and four touchdowns with seven interceptions while also rushing for 8 yards and a touchdown. Mettenberger was released by the Titans on May 16, 2016.
San Diego Chargers
On August 31, 2016, Mettenberger was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He did not play in any games during the 2016 NFL season and was inactive for 12 of the Steelers' 16 regular season games, as well as all three playoff games.
Mettenberger was active for Weeks 4 and 5 (against the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, respectively) as the third quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones. He was also active as the backup for Weeks 7 and 17 (against the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns, respectively) behind Jones while Roethlisberger recovered from an injury in the former contest and rested for the playoffs in the latter.
In August 2018, Mettenberger signed with the newly-formed Alliance of American Football's Memphis Express. Later on November 27, Mettenberger was drafted by the Express in the fourth round of the 2019 AAF QB Draft.
Mettenerger opened the 2019 AAF season as the third-string quarterback behind Christian Hackenberg and Brandon Silvers. For the third game of the year against the Orlando Apollos, he became the backup after Silvers suffered an injury, and entered the game during the second half to replace a struggling Hackenberg; despite losing 21–17, Mettenberger threw for 120 yards and two touchdowns. On February 25, Express head coach Mike Singletary named Mettenberger the starter. In his first start against the San Diego Fleet, he completed 18 of 25 passes for 174 yards and a passing touchdown, and also ran for another as Memphis won 26–23, the first victory in team history.
Against the Salt Lake Stallions on March 16, Mettenberger was injured and replaced by Silvers. The Express announced the signing of quarterback Johnny Manziel soon after the game. Mettenberger was placed on injured reserve on March 18. The league ceased operations in April 2019.
In July 2020, Mettenberger was announced as the new offensive coordinator of the Hillsboro High School football team, having previously expressed interest in coaching at the school during his playing career.
- Paschall, David. "Mettenberger links UGA, LSU", Chattanooga Times Free Press, November 30, 2011.
- Smith, Erick. "Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger pleads guilty to sexual battery", USA Today, May 4, 2010.
- Watson, Graham. "Zach Mettenberger hopes people will forget about his past and focus on his future", Yahoo! Sports, August 28, 2012.
- Zach Mettenberger back on track
- Former Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger returns to SEC with LSU
- Zach Mettenberger gets ready for his close-up at LSU
- Zach Mettenberger now No. 1 quarterback for LSU
- "Zach Mettenberger". espn.go.com. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- Zach Mettenberger Stats - LSU - ESPN
- LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger has torn ACL in left knee, will miss bowl game
- Zach Mettenberger shines at LSU Tigers pro day - ESPN
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- Kercheval, Ben. "AAF Week 6 scores, highlights, updates: Hotshots stun Apollos, Stallions get win". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
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- "Memphis Express Player Stats". aaf.com. Alliance of American Football. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
- Kreager, Tom (July 16, 2020). "Former Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger joins Hillsboro football staff". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
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