Paul Guenther believes Johnny Manziel can still develop into an effective NFL quarterback.
"Honestly, I think the kid needs more time" before anyone writes him off, said Guenther.
Guenther is defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals employed a strategy similar to what LSU did while Manziel was at Texas A&M -- sealing the edge and forcing him to stay in the pocket. That accentuated Manziel's 6-foot-0, 210-pound frame, but Guenther said quarterbacks at any size can learn to operate from 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 is currently the Cleveland Browns' No. 2 quarterback behind Josh McCown.
"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," Guenther said. "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."