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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.



Blog: Bucs Beat

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

  1. Bucs may have benefitted from a new OT rule proposal


    You don’t see too many ties in the NFL anymore, except for the ones worn by the suits in the league office....

  2. Is the fun coming back to the No Fun League?


    In the season opener last year, the Falcons had the football near midfield trailing 24-13. On first down, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy sacked quarterback Matt Ryan for a six-yard loss.

    Excited by making such a big play, McCoy swayed his hands above his head and was joined in the motion by linebacker Kwon Alexander. The whole demonstration took only a couple seconds. But McCoy was flagged and the Bucs penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in what was considered a choreographed celebration....

  3. Jameis Winston suffers loss of grandmother


    She called him the ’love of her life.’ Jameis Winston’s grandmother, Myrtle, was his biggest fan. And the feeling was mutual.

    Although she suffered from Type 2 diabetes and was in a wheelchair, she made the 4½ hour drive from Bessemer, Ala., to New Orleans two years ago to watch him get his first NFL win against the Saints.

    She was the reason Winston stayed home from the NFL draft in 2015 even though he was the No. 1 overall pick by the Bucs. His grandmother couldn’t travel and he wanted to share the experience with her....

    Jameis Winston's grandmother, Myrtle, called him the "love of her life.''
  4. Could Roberto Aguayo be back on the street in September?


    There’s been some discussion about how serious the Bucs are about potentially replacing struggling place-kicker Roberto Aguayo after dealing third- and fourth-round picks to move up 15 spots and take the Florida State star in the second round last year....

    Roberto Aguayo led the NFL with nine missed field goals and was only four-of-11 from 40 yards or longer.
  5. With Doug Martin questions, Bucs weigh options at running back


    TAMPA — Doug Martin is used to getting knocked down as a running back, but this time he needed some help getting back up.

    Suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy in December, one week after he was benched for a critical game at New Orleans that the Bucs lost, Martin voluntarily sought help at an undisclosed rehab center and completed his stay in February....

    Running back Doug Martin wouldn’t be able to return to the Bucs until Week 4.
  6. Ready to move on? Jets Nick Folk will compete with Roberto Aguayo for Bucs kicking job


    The Bucs over-drafted Florida State place-kicker Roberto Aguayo last year, selecting him in the second round. He felt the pressure. One of the most accurate kickers in college history made only 71 percent of his field goal attempts (22-of-31), the worst in the league.

    “Read the stats, he wasn’t very good last year,’’ Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “He wants to improve and he’s going to work at it. And we still have confidence in him but you’re always trying to get better.’’...

  7. Center Joe Hawley agrees to terms on 2-year deal with Bucs but will have a tough battle to keep his starting job


    Center Joe Hawley agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Bucs, but he will have plenty of competition for his starting job next season.

    Terms of the new deal were not released, but it’s expected to be south of the $3.5-million he earned in salary and playing incentives last season. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has said the Bucs have plenty of options at center. In addition to Evan Smith, guard Ali Marpet and guard/tackle Ken Pamphile also could play center. Koetter has said because of the versatility, the Bucs will try to put their best five offensive linemen on the field....

    The Bucs re-signed center Joe Hawley, right, to a two-year contract.
  8. How the Bucs free agent signings impact their NFL draft plan


    The Bucs signing of Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive lineman Chris Baker will ultimately have an impact on their approach to the NFL draft. 

    “To get two big needs that we have, we still believe in building through the draft and that helps you solidify how you’re going to draft,'' Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "This is a deep draft, and free agency isn’t over yet. Not only are we gaining some guys in free agency we’re also losing some guys, too, so it’s a process.''...

    The Bucs signing of Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson, pictured, and defensive lineman Chris Baker will ultimately have an impact on their approach to the NFL draft.
  9. Bucs pursue and catch their target, free agent DeSean Jackson



    As Bucs general manager Jason Licht was getting ready to leave his home and head to the office Thursday morning, the free agent signing period just hours away, his 8-year-old son, Charlie, asked the question on the mind of every NFL insider. "What do you plan on doing today?"

    Licht didn't ask to go off the record. "Well, I hope to sign DeSean Jackson, but I don't know yet. I hope," he said....

  10. How Bucs whiffed on DeSean Jackson nine years ago and took the wrong D-Jax


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson should've been a Buccaneer from the very start. In fact, the Bucs did select a wide receiver named D-Jax in the second round of the 2008 draft.

    But they got the wrong guy, and in some ways it might have cost coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen their jobs. Here's what happened.

    The Bucs entered the 2008 season with a couple of glaring needs. With Ronde Barber turning 33 and Phillip Buchanon in the final year of his contract, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin needed a long-term solution at cornerback....

    Thanks to his small hands, drops were a common problem for receiver Dexter Jackson, who lasted one season with the Bucs.
  11. How the Bucs whiffed on DeSean Jackson nine years ago and took the wrong D-Jax


    DeSean Jackson should’ve been a Buccaneer from the very start. In fact, the Bucs did select a wide receiver named D-Jax in the second round of the 2008 draft....

    Now, DeSean Jackson is a Buccaneer and has a chance to erase a big stain on the franchise that may have begun its unraveling.
  12. Free agent receiver DeSean Jackson joins Bucs


    TAMPA — There are a lot of layers to DeSean Jackson. First, look at him. He's 5 feet 10 (maybe) and 170 pounds of muscle, tattoos and heart.

    Pops was the first to imagine DeSean as an NFL player. That was the plan from the time he was born. Pops is what they call DeSean's father, Bill, a bus driver who moved his family from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles six years before DeSean was born. He's the reason DeSean is running from defensive backs and not trouble....

    DeSean Jackson’s best year was with the Eagles in 2013: a career-high 1,332 receiving yards and career-high-tying 9 scores.
  13. DeSean Jackson is a 'game changer,' Bucs' Mike Evans says


    DeSean Jackson will give the Bucs' offense an instant upgrade, but no player stands to benefit more than receiver Mike Evans....

  14. DeSean Jackson finally brings speed and explosive plays to a Bucs offense lacking both


    DeSean Jackson will ignite the Bucs offense, which lacked explosive plays in the passing game last season.

    On three occasions, Jackson has led the league in yards per reception, including last year when he averaged 17.9 yards per catch for the Redskins. With quarterback Jameis Winston’s ability to drive the ball downfield and Mike Evans’ penchant for catching passes in traffic and out-jumping defenders in the end zone, this should be fun to watch....

    DeSean Jackson has led the league in yards per reception three times, including last year when he averaged 17.9 yards per catch for the Redskins.
  15. Backstreet Boy and Bucs fan Nick Carter wants DeSean Jackson to quit playing games with his heart


    Backstreet Boys singer/songwriter Nick Carter is an unabashed Bucs fan. Always has been since his days of growing up in central Florida.

    On Wednesday night, he made his pitch to Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson to sign with the Bucs.

    Carter took to Twitter to recruit Jackson and clearly wants him to Quit Playing Games, convince the Pro Bowl receiver We’ve Got It Goin’ On (in Tampa Bay) and to join Winston so his passes won’t fall Incomplete....

    Backstreet Boy and Bucs fan Nick Carter has made a plea  to Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson to sign with the Bucs.