Johnny Manziel 'needs more time,' says Bengals DC

Johnny Manziel's starting debut in the NFL is not one for the personal scrapbook.

The rookie looked overwhelmed against the Bengals, throwing for just 80 yards with two interceptions in a 30-0 home loss that sent Cleveland's season spiraling into the abyss. Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther might have had his way with Manziel that day, but he thinks it's too soon for people to write the passer off as another first-round bust for the Browns.

"Honestly, I think the kid needs more time," Guenther told

The Bengals bottled Manziel up by sealing off the edges, a strategy that took away Manziel's skill as an improviser. Guenther believes Manziel will improve if he learns the nuances of playing in the pocket.

"Drew Brees did it," Guenther said. "I know Drew is a little bit thicker than Johnny but about the same height. ... I don't see any reason why he can't do it up there. (Manziel) was such a high-profile guy out of college and everyone expected what he did at Texas A&M, but it's a man's game, it's a lot different, and it takes time. You have to take your lumps a little bit."

Manziel will enter training camp entrenched as Cleveland's No. 2 quarterback behind Josh McCown, but Guenther brings up a fair point. Nearly every quarterback struggles when they reach the NFL. Manziel should be given the benefit of time, just like everyone else.

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