The Browns cornerback told Around the NFL on Wednesday that Cleveland's first-round passer can still emerge as the long-term solution under center.
"I feel like he could be. He could be," Haden said. "Rookie seasons, they go however, but I think Johnny really understands what he needs to do to be successful."
Manziel's rookie campaign ended in infamy. After seven suspect quarters on the field, the former Texas A&M star was late for treatment on his tweaked hamstring, prompting Browns officials to hunt him down at home.
Security reportedly found Manziel in rough shape, with one source telling ESPN.com that the signal-caller was "drunk off his a--."
"Oh without a doubt," Dansby said. "It's gonna take a lot of sacrifices. Guys can't have egos, you gotta check 'em at the door. We gotta ... rally around each other and continue to fight for each other, just play lights-out football, and that's what we're gonna (have to do to get there)."
More from Haden and Dansby:
- Dansby offered some hard-boiled advice for Josh Gordon, the talented-but-troubled wideout who faces a one-year banishment after testing positive for alcohol.
"He just gotta be still, man," Dansby said. "Gotta be still and be quiet and just start to pray. Without God in the fold, man, things like this have happened, you know what I'm saying? You gotta go back to your roots, man, and just get grounded. He's got all the talent in the world to be one of the best receivers to ever play the game. I ain't ever seen a guy 6-foot-4 move like that. I'm impressed day in and day out with his work ethic and everything, man. Just him keep making these same mistakes over and over and over again, man, it's disappointing."
Dansby insisted the Browns can still help Gordon, saying: "He was turning a corner, man, but he had a setback, so now we gotta reach out to him as teammates and as brothers and just pull him closer and continue to try to surround him with our support."
- Haden thinks coach Mike Pettine is a keeper.
"He's going to be around (a long time). I think he is," Haden said. "Our coach, owner, everybody, they get along really well, so I really like that. It just seems like a good relationship. Coach Pettine's a really good coach. Players get along with him really well, all the management gets along with him really well. He gets the best out of the players and we love playing for him."
- Haden also likes the core of Cleveland's defense, saying the Browns aren't far away from turning around a team that hasn't made the postseason since 2002.
"I feel like our defense is set. Our defense is good," Haden said. "We got a really strong core. ... With our defense, we could take this team to the playoffs."