"We didn't play (starting cornerbacks) Kevin Dockery and David Heard much because I know what they can do," said the second-year MSU coach. "And I need them when we play Murray State, not on August 13th. I did get them some work and I was pleased with their effort, but I wanted to get (freshmen cornerbacks) Derek Pegues and Keith Fitzhugh and some of the other young guys some work since this was our first real scrimmage action. I wanted to see how they would perform once they were able to play in the stadium and on the game field.
"As we get closer to Murray State, guys like Kevin Dockery and David Heard will play more. But three weeks out, we thought it was important that we get our young guys a lot of work."
Did he like what he saw from his two freshmen, both of whom were two of the most highly recruited cornerbacks in the nation last recruiting season?
"I thought they played with effort and did a good job," he said. "I left them out there for a lot of plays and they never seem to get tired. When I did take them out to give them a blow, they were mad at me for taking them out. They wanted to stay in. You like to see that."
Although Pegues and Fitzhugh received most of the first-team and some of the second-team snaps, Beamer also played his other three cornerbacks. And was, for the most part, pleased with what he saw.
"Adrian Griffin, Jamaal Johnson and Leron Yarbrough, my other three cornerbacks, played a lot of reps, too," said Beamer. "I was pleased with their effort and play. They made some plays and had some busts, too."
While the play and effort was good for most of the scrimmage, expect the defensive coaches to put more pressure situations on the players as game time approaches.
"Although I thought we were pretty sharp as far as our calls go, we didn't want to get too elaborate with our defensive calls," said Beamer. "We just wanted to keep it simple and let the guys go out and play and see who performed."
What exactly was the purpose of the first scrimmage of training camp?
"To see who we can count on," said Beamer. "After we get in there and watch the film, we will have a much better idea who we can count on and who we can't."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.