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Parks Frazier Reveals Change in Matt Ryan

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan hasn't turned the ball over since Parks Frazier took over play-calling duties.
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The Indianapolis Colts got off to a 3-3-1 start under quarterback Matt Ryan. He was benched after a Week 7 loss to the Tennessee Titans in large part because of how frequently he was turning the ball over.

Ryan had nine interceptions and fumbled the ball 11 times (3 lost) in the Colts' first-seven games. In the two weeks Ryan was out, the Colts went 0-2, head coach Frank Reich was dismissed, Jeff Saturday was named interim coach, and Parks Frazier started calling offensive plays.

Saturday initially stated he was going to stick with Sam Ehlinger as the starting quarterback, but it was Matt Ryan who took the reins against the Las Vegas Raiders.

READ MORE: Eagles Coach takes Shot at Colts after Win

Ryan is 1-1 in his return to the starting position, but he hasn't turned the ball over in those two games under Saturday and Frazier.

Frazier was asked this week what has changed to help Ryan protect the ball better.

"Good question," said Frazier on Tuesday. "I think it’s a testament to Matt. He acknowledges that that’s something he can’t do, is turning the ball over. He knew that all along, but I think he’s really taken that next step of saying, 'I’m going to protect the ball.'" 

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"Our defense is playing really well. It’s just we’ve got to do whatever we can do to win the game and I think he’s done an extremely good job the last two games of taking care of the ball, being smart, being a good decision-maker and then, we’ve done some good things."

The Colts offensive line shares some of the blame for Ryan's struggles early, and while they regressed against a tough Philadelphia Eagles front, they've been better under Saturday.

"I don’t think he had a sack two weeks ago and then obviously, we had a couple this game," said Frazier. "The protection has been good in certain areas as well. So, I think it’s just a combination of all those things."

"It’s a team effort. Obviously, we’re still trying to get better with some of those things, but I just think he’s done a really good job of committing to it and making good decisions."

The Colts lost to the 9-1 Eagles by a point. Philadelphia has the No. 2 defense in the NFL, and Indianapolis should find the going much easier against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.

Pittsburgh enters the game against the Colts at 3-7 with the league's 29th-ranked defense.

If Ryan can continue to protect the ball, the still-struggling offense should be able to make hay against the Steelers on Monday.