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Harlon Barnett explains the decision to return to calling the defense from the box

Barnett has been in the box on gamedays for most of his career.

Since Florida State’s matchup with Notre Dame, defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett has been in a more familiar place on gameday: the press box, where he has called his defenses for most of his career.

Barnett was asked about his decision to head upstairs, and besides the obvious benefit of seeing the field better, Barnett says it’s just what he’s always done.

“That is where I have been my previous 14 years in college coaching—it’s been in the box,” Barnett said. “I came down because at the beginning of the year I asked the defensive backs how they feel more comfortable at the time, with me down or up, and they said down. That’s how that came about, but they are comfortable now as far as sideline adjustments and things like that.”

With the defense more comfortable with what he is trying to do, it seemed like a good time for Barnett to go back to what he is used to, and head coach Willie Taggart was on the same page.

“It’s kind of funny,” Barnett said. “ After the NC State game, I came in and talked to the defensive staff about going up and some of them were like, ‘yeah, that’s a great idea.’ That same day, coach Taggart comes up to me and says, ‘hey I got a question, what do you think about going to the box?’ And I said, ‘who you been talking to?’ He said, ‘I didn’t talk to anybody.’ So that was confirmation, you know what I mean? Thinking the same thing, basically. So, the last two games I’ve gone up and it’s helped out a lot.”

Barnett’s full comments prior to Wednesday’s practice: