August 4, 2017 Atlanta - Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson watches over the first the first day of Georgia Tech football practice at Rose Bowl Field in Georgia Tech campus on Friday, August 4, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC

Tech coach Paul Johnson pleased with Tuesday practice

And after the 17th practice of the preseason, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he liked what he saw.

“It was good,” Johnson said. “It was a little better.”

By and large, the Yellow Jackets have not met the coach’s famously high standards since beginning the preseason Aug. 4, but Tuesday’s practice in preparation for the season opener against Tennessee passed the test.

“It was awfully warm, but they pushed through pretty good,” Johnson said. “But it was our hottest day.”

B-back KirVonte Benson returned from an injury and improved his candidacy to be the starter against the Volunteers, Sept. 4 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“He did good,” Johnson said. “He busted his tail. He had a good day. He really pushed.”

Benson is competing with Jerry Howard, Quaide Weimerskirch and Jordan Ponchez-Mason to replace Dedrick Mills, who was dismissed from the team Friday for violating athletic-department policy.

“I think they see a chance to play and they want to play,” Johnson said.

Dedrick Mills chooses Kansas junior college

Johnson said that A-back Clinton Lynch did not return to practice. One of the more productive players on the team last season, Lynch has been out for an extended period with an unspecified injury. Johnson said Monday that if Lynch did not return to practice this week, he likely would not play him in the Tennessee game out of fairness to the other A-backs who have been practicing.

“I have no idea when he’ll be back,” Johnson said. “I hope he comes back and is able to play, but I have no idea.”

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