PHILADELPHIA — Ravens offensive line coach Juan Castillo's return to Philadelphia was occasion for the longtime Eagles assistant to compare one of his best players in Philadelphia, Jason Peters, to current Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe.
Monroe's play has been uneven since the Ravens acquired him from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a pair of draft picks in 2013, but the offensive line coach believes there's opportunity for improvement still.
Castillo said Peters, who was acquired after a Pro Bowl 2008 season with the Buffalo Bills but struggled in 2009 with the Eagles, showed him and then-coach Andy Reid that an adjustment period is necessary.
"It's a valuable lesson that Coach Reid always talked about, your first year as a free agent when you make a change is hard to just come in and play the way you're supposed to play," Castillo said. "Sometimes, it takes you to your second year.
"We're going to have that on our side, we have Eugene. I tell everybody, Eugene's going to be like Jason. It takes him a year to feel comfortable with the team, then they come back and play really well."
Since joining the Eagles, Peters has made five Pro Bowls, been first-team All-Pro twice and remains a franchise offensive lineman. The Ravens, who signed Monroe to a five-year, $37.5 million contract in March 2014, are paying Monroe to be that kind of player.
He stabilized what was one of the worst offensive lines in football in 2013, and started 11 games but missed time with knee and ankle injuries last year. Midway through last season, Castillo said Monroe was still learning to play like a Raven. Monroe was strong in pass blocking last year, but rated poorly in Pro Football Focus' ratings as a run blocker.
Monroe acknowledged Castillo's perspective, and said it was an adjustment for him to get used to Castillo's technique.
"I know the way he teaches us how to do certain things is totally different than what I've learned before," Monroe said. "It was more so a thing of doing it over and over, getting the repetitions to actually gaining trust of what he was doing, because I was successful before I came here. …
"But the other thing is I have the ability to do it, and I bought into it. I love how we play. We're learning technique, and everyone's able to step in and not really lose much in terms of contribution because we're all working the same sort of things."