"His agent informed us that he would not be attending the camp," said Steelers head coach Bill Cowher. "This is an unexcused absence and I'm disappointed in his decision. We will move on with or without him."
Burress, who is coming off a poor season, is heading into the
final season of his rookie contract and wants a new deal before
the regular season begins. He is scheduled to earn a base
salary of $413,000 this season and counts $1.875 million
against the team's salary cap.
The Steelers are reluctant to give Burress a new contract coming
off a 2003 season in which he caught just 60 passes for 860
yards and 4 touchdowns.
Burress' holdout is believed to be the first in mini-camp under
Cowher. Several players, Barry Foster and Gary Anderson
among them, have held out of training camp in the hopes of
gaining a new contract.
In other news from the opening of camp Friday, Chris Hope lined
up with the first team defense at free safety, with Troy Polamalu
lining up next to him at strong safety.
"He's ready, it's his time," Cowher said of Hope. "Just like it's
Clark's (Haggans) time."
Hope, Polamalu and Haggans - who is in the starting lineup at
Jason Gildon's outside linebacker spot - were the three new
starters on defense.
Offensively, newcomer Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis split time
at the first-team running back position.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked sharp throwing the ball
in the seven-on-seven drills. He looked especially mobile in the
team portion, rolling out to his right and firing a bullet to tight
Robert Blizzard on a 10-yard out in front of Polamalu.
Alonzo Jackson and Nathaniel Adibi were the second-team
Kendrell Bell had the only interception of the morning session,
picking off Tommy Maddox on the second play of the team
portion and returning it for a touchdown. Sound familiar?
Offensive tackle Josh Burr did not participate in drills after
his right ACL in NFL Europe.
Steelers WR Draws Line In Sand
Steel City Insider Top Stories
Steelers Notebook: Do. Your. Job.Script for Landry, and when Gronk was 'more funner', plus updates on Shazier, Green, Gilbert.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 6:28 PM
Notebook: TE Green A MysteryPlus, news on M. Gilbert, Dupree, Shazier, Ben; also, Tom Brady comments favorably on city of Pittsburgh.
Steel City InsiderWednesday at 5:43 PM
Jones Shows Off Command Of Steelers OffenseAfter calming team in morning, Landry Jones flawless at practice.
Steel City InsiderWednesday at 2:54 PM
All-22 Review: Steelers-DolphinsJon Ledyard breaks down tape of the Steelers' loss in Miami.
Steel City InsiderWednesday at 3:14 AM