Comfort Level

Florida State has a pair of seasoned quarterbacks in starter <b>Chris Rix</b> and backup <b>Fabian Walker.</b> Nobody appreciates that luxury more than Seminoles quarterback coach <b> Daryl Dickey.</b> Click here as Dickey talks about the progress of his quarterbacks, his points of emhpasis this preseason, as well as his role with the team's play-calling and the move to the sidelines late last year.

Florida State has a pair of seasoned quarterbacks in starter Chris Rix and backup Fabian Walker. Nobody appreciates that luxury more than Seminoles quarterback coach Daryl Dickey.

"We have a long way to go but I think we have an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish," Dickey told TheTerritory following FSU's Monday morning practice.

"Now it's time to go out and get 1,000 reps and try to regain our rhythm, our timing and the feeling of the speed of the game. We are on the right side of the track."

Rix, of course, has 21 career starts and has thrown for 4,418 career yards and 37 touchdowns in two years. He's on track to finish among the program's top two quarterbacks in career passing yardage, completions and touchdown passes. Chris Weinke leads in each category -- 9,839 passing yards, 650 completions and 79 TD passes.

Walker is also battle tested, starting the Seminoles' Sugar Bowl defeat against Georgia. Better yet, his throwing shoulder has healed from off-season surgery and his nearing full strength. Each quarterback, Dickey says, has a solid understanding of the Seminoles' offense.

"Our knowledge of our system is a real positive," said Dickey, who is entering his third season with the Seminoles.

"We were able to not focus as much on teaching the play itself but how to execute the play. There's a lot of difference in that. The first two years we were teaching what the play means. Now, we can go a step beyond that and how to read the defense and how to execute the play."

Dickey's point of emphasis this preseason includes ball placement on pass routes. Rix suffered just seven interceptions last year, down from 13 as a freshman. However, his touchdown passes dropped significantly (24 to 13). Walker, meanwhile, threw his first career touchdown pass against the Bulldogs.

"We are really working hard on spots, where to put the ball," Dickey said.

"Ball placement in the passing game -- that was something we hadn't discussed (previously) because we are still talking about the mechanics of the play. But now we have the mechanics down and we are working on ball placement, spots in our passing game, location and all that kind of stuff. We are advancing. We are progressing well. Their background of the system, there's a great foundation there."

Dickey also admits has kept a watchful eye on Rix and Walker. Rix is trying to overcome last year's struggles with teammates, while Walker is concentrating on consistency.

"I got an ear in there a little bit about what I try to hear him (Rix) say and is he always leading in a positive way," Dickey said.

"It's the little things that all coaches try to help their players with. I think he's being a little more vocal, which is outstanding. And I think guys are listening and that's real positive.

"Fabian has been a real pleasure to me because he can finally throw. He's pain-free in his throwing. He's able to reach back and he's able to put some spin and velocity on it. He's not anywhere near where he wants him to be or where I want him to be. But he's certainly more improved."

Dickey also says he's comfortable with last season's late switch from the press box to the sidelines with offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden. Dickey was responsible for the Seminoles' play-calling last season. However, both Dickey and coach Bobby Bowden have indicated that could very well change this year.

"I am fine with it (move to sidelines)," Dickey said.

"I can really get into the game with the quarterbacks about the technique and the mechanic of the play and the ball placement. We can go in a lot more in depth than we could (when I was) upstairs. I think Jeff is going to be a lot more involved in calling the plays, which is going to free me up to really coach that quarterback. I think it's a good move."

During Sunday's media day, Bobby Bowden also believed that moving Dickey to the sidelines was better for all involved, especially the quarterbacks.

"We just felt like that Dickey could be on that sideline," Bowden said.

"Jeffrey has always been on the sideline, and didn't especially want to go upstairs, so you had Daryl up there, who coaches the quarterbacks. It just got where we felt like we might be better off with Daryl on the sideline, where as soon as Chris comes off the field, Daryl can grab him and start talking. Then Jeffrey (is) upstairs where he can see more, and can call plays better from up there. Although usually the guy up there's the one who calls them anyway. I think it'll work better."

Dickey says either approach suits him. At the moment, he's too busy working with his quarterbacks, including redshirt freshman Waytt Sexton, and trying to make them better in preparation for the Seminoles' opener at North Carolina Aug. 30.

"I don't know -- that's up to Coach (Bobby) Bowden. However he wants us to work it," Dickey said of the team‘s play-calling duties. "If he says I am calling plays, I will call them. If he wants Jeff to call them, Jeff will call them. We are in the process of trying to figure out what's going to be best for us."

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