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Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer

Rick Stroud

Rick Stroud covers the Bucs and the NFL for the Times. He joined the paper in 1983 after graduating from Arkansas St., where he played baseball. He has reported on national sporting events including more than 20 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud's stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. He began covering the Bucs in 1990. Since then, the team has undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum and a Super Bowl XXVII victory. He co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM.

Phone:

E-mail: stroud@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): Listen live

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  1. Bucs journal: Bucs still high on Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Coach Dirk Koetter spent a lot of time before this year's draft evaluating RB Dalvin Cook. At one time, the Florida State star and former teammate of QB Jameis Winston was considered the player the Bucs most likely would draft 19th overall.

    "He's a really good back," Koetter said. "He can run with power. He can run with speed. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he's demonstrated all that the first two weeks of the season. He's a really good football player."...

    Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook (33), a standout at Florida State, is third in the league in rushing after two games and fourth in average yards per game.
  2. McCoy, Alexander, Baker among those missing practice

    Blog

    Bucs DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. DT Chris Baker and DE Jacquies Smith with out with an illness. CB Brent Grimes (shoulder) was limited. LB Devante Bond (knee) had full participation....

  3. A rendering of the Bucs' indoor practice facility.
  4. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    It nearly happened. Tampa Bay was set to select Cook in the first round, but Alabama tight end O.J. Howard unexpectedly tumbled to them with the 19th overall pick. Howard was one of the cleanest players in the draft due to his production and character and was projected to be gone with the first 10-15 picks....

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  5. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for Vikings

    Blog

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    It nearly happened. Tampa Bay was set to select Cook in the first round, but Alabama tight end O.J. Howard unexpectedly tumbled to them with the 19th overall pick. Howard was one of the cleanest players in the draft due to his production and character and was projected to be gone with the first 10-15 picks.

    The Bucs were very familiar with Cook, who as a teammate of quarterback Jameis Winston at Florida State. Had he come to the Bucs, running back Doug Martin may not be on the roster instead of serving a three-game suspension. Cook lasted until the ninth pick in the second round, most likely due to some off-field concerns....

  6. Day off? Bucs, you have a lot to learn

    Sports

    TAMPA — What happened to Victory Monday?

    "That's what I'm trying to figure out, man," Bucs tackle Demar Dotson said. "Dirk (Koetter) took it away."

    Typically in the NFL, when a team wins a game, particularly the way the Bucs curb-stomped the Bears 29-7 Sunday, players are given an extra day off and return to work Wednesday.

    But despite the four-takeaway performance against the Bears, players were back at One Buc Place on Monday being shown all the things they did wrong. Koetter, the Bucs head coach, took the whole dominating victory thing with a pound of salt....

    Mike Evans and his teammates get back to work after win.
  7. Bucs defense dominates and we should have seen it coming

    Bucs

    TAMPA — They were fast. They were flashy. A bunch of the new guys stood out. One made his debut by scoring a touchdown. The scoreboard was lit.

    Not the Bucs offense, mind you.

    Like the cannons in the north end zone of Raymond James Stadium that were quiet because of a mechanical issue, Jameis Winston and all his new weapons lacked firepower Sunday.

    That may have been the most surprising thing about the Bucs' 29-7 rout of the Chicago Bears. It was the Bucs defense, which has gone largely overlooked, that made a statement....

    Bucs defensive back Robert McClain (36) celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  8. Jameis Winston's next step: The deep ball

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Even though he has the arm for it, the long ball was one of Jameis Winston's few short-comings.

    But deep passes, defined by those that travel at least 20 yards through the air, will be back for the Bucs this season.

    Tampa Bay was the only team in the NFL that didn't have an offensive play of 50 yards or more last season. That led to the signing of DeSean Jackson to a three-year, $30.5 million contract with $20 million guaranteed....

    Jameis Winston enters the season opener for the Bucs against the Chicago Bears Sunday at Raymond James Stadium as the only NFL player to pass for more than 4,000 yards each of the past two seasons. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
]
  9. Jameis Winston's miracles from mistakes, and vice versa

    Bucs

    TAMPA — A look at some Jameis Winston mistakes that were nearly miracles, and some miracles thatwere almost mistakes:

    ...

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) avoids a sack and gets free before throwing a deep completion to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) during the second half of a game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016.
  10. Taking the Jameis Winston risk assessment

    Bucs

    TAMPA — "I'm a risk taker."

    That's what Jameis Winston told Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer last month in a postgame conversation. It was a candid moment that sums up the Bucs' dilemma with their quarterback.

    Coach Dirk Koetter laughed when he saw the exchange on HBO's Hard Knocks.

    "Yeah, duh!" he said.

    Winston has never met a play he didn't like, never attempted a throw he thought he couldn't make. Those attributes have served him well....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during warmups before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  11. Jameis Winston follows a new playbook: Dr. Seuss

    Bucs

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston refers to himself as a "risk taker." But he says over the past two seasons, he has learned to be more patient.

    Yet, he embraces his aggressive style of playing the position.

    Wintson said he could relate to a quote shared with him by center Ali Marpet from a Dr. Seuss book called Happy Birthday to You!...

    Jameis Winston enters the season opener for the Bucs against the Chicago Bears Sunday at Raymond James Stadium as the only NFL player to pass for more than 4,000 yards each of the past two seasons. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
]
  12. Jameis Winston follows a new playbook: Dr. Seuss

    Blog

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston refers to himself as a ‘risk taker.’ But he says over the past two seasons, he has learned to be more patient.

    Yet, he embraces his aggressive style of playing the position.

    Wintson said he could relate to a quote shared with him by center Ali Marpet from a Dr. Seuss book called Happy Birthday to You!

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true,’’ Winston recalled. “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.’...

  13. Bucs regather with tales of Hurricane Irma

    Bucs

    TAMPA —So here's what happened when the Hard Knocks cameras were turned off. The lost sixth episode that HBO did not get the chance tell about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    What was it Liev Schreiber said before the closing credits? A talented team ready to launch. They have leadership and likability. The roster was set. Time to play the games.

    That was before Hurricane Irma forced the NFL to postpone the season opener at Miami until Nov. 19. Players scattered for the bye week. Here's how they rode out the storm....

    Bucs receiver Bernard Reedy filled a need by helping out at his old job, Care Ride, shuttling people to hurricane shelters.
  14. Bucs expected to announce they'll play Sunday in Tampa

    Bucs

    Coach Dirk Koetter went to his office at One Buc Place to work on Sunday, with televisions tuned to both NFL games and the Weather Channel watching Hurricane Irma.

    "All good here,'' Koetter said in a text Monday morning. "Just waiting now. More anxiety.''

    Koetter's wait will end soon. The Bucs are expected to announce today that Sunday's home opener against the Chicago Bears will be played at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium as scheduled. ...

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston jumps through a growing puddle before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last month at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  15. Bucs face logistics problems but will practice, play in Tampa

    Blog

    Coach Dirk Koetter went to his office at One Buc Place to work on Sunday, with televisions tuned to both NFL games and the Weather Channel watching Hurricane Irma.

    "All good here,'' Koetter said in a text Monday morning. "Just waiting now. More anxiety.''

    Koetter's wait will end soon. The Bucs are expected to announce today that Sunday's home opener against the Chicago Bears will be played at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium as scheduled....