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Bengals Defensive Coordinator Says Manziel Just Needs More Time

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

When QB Johnny Manziel was preparing for his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals last year, fans had doubts that he could lead Cleveland to a playoff run. Still, they were hoping that the rookie could pull off wonders for a Browns team that still had a glimmer of hope at making the postseason. Instead, Manziel and the Browns were embarrassed at home, losing by a final score of 30-0.

With that definitive of a victory, I'd think that Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther would be salivating at the thought of facing Manziel again. While he still might be salivating, Guenther told ESPN's Jeremy Fowlerr that Manziel simply needs more time before he's written off:

Guenther blames Manziel's Week 15 struggles on the state of the Bengals, who wanted redemption after an underwhelming 24-3 loss to the Browns on "Thursday Night Football" on Nov. 6. ... "There was so much expected in his first game, and maybe some of that was self-warranted, but it was so much from the fan base that you have to let him make mistakes," said Guenther.

Guenther compared Manziel to Drew Brees when it comes to size, and says that Manziel needs time to make the transition from the types of things he was able to get away with at Texas A&M to what he can't do at the NFL level. Once he gets experience finding his element, he's got the tools to make an impact: "I think he has good feet, is obviously a threat to run it, and I think in the right system he can be a good player," says Guenther.