Latest word on Burress

<b>PITTSBURGH --</b> The Steelers practiced Thursday without Plaxico Burress again, and, according to the rumor mill, they'd better get used to it.<br><br> The Steelers also practiced Thursday without one of their cornerbacks, but it was because of their own doing.

According to a Miami reporter, who talked to Burress after his appearance at a Miami Heat basketball game, the Steelers wide receiver will not report to any of the team's coaching sessions throughout the next three weeks. He will, however, report for training camp.

The coaching sessions are voluntary, but every other healthy member of the team has been in attendance this week.

Burress, of course, skipped the team's mandatory mini-camp because, he said, the camp was held on Mothers Day weekend. "Now what is it?" asked Hines Ward on Monday. On Wednesday, Ward had a long, private, post-practice talk with Coach Bill Cowher. To answer Ward's question, one Steelers official said Burress is not staying away to avoid drug tests. The NFL would travel anywhere to test athletes. In the past, the league has traveled as far as Europe.

In other news, the Steelers released second-year cornerback B.J. Tucker, a speedy sixth-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys last year.

After being released by the Cowboys, Tucker spent time on the Oakland Raiders' practice squad last season before signing with the Steelers on December 2.

The Steelers put Tucker on their 53-man roster for the final week of the season, but he was inactive.

The Steelers have room to sign one player, and the conjecture is that player will be Ainsley Battles, who played safety for the Steelers in 2000. He was at the practice facility on Wednesday for a workout.

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