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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: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Dotson said he suffered the injury in practice Tuesday and came out after 11 snaps in Thursday's preseason win at Jacksonville. Dotson was relieved to have only a low-grade sprain and should be able to return healthy for the season opener in three weeks at Miami....

    Jameis Winston, back, encourages James Gauntt, 13, during post-practice drills with Special Olympics Florida athletes during their annual training camp visit. “You can see pure joy on (the athletes’) faces,” Winston says. “And I just love it.”
  2. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big

    Bucs

    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

    So why did the Bucs take Ali Marpet, who has had two very productive seasons at right guard, and move him to center?

    The easy answer is the Bucs needed to make room at right guard for J.R. Sweezy, who missed last season after back surgery....

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  3. Simeon Rice takes time to work with Bucs defensive ends

    Blog

    Simeon Rice spent extra time after training camp practice Saturday working with Bucs defensive ends Noah Spence and Ryan Russell, the way he did with rookies during his playing days as one of the most dominant pass rushers in NFL history.

    Rice ranks 19th on the league’s career sack list with 122 and forced 25 fumbles during 12 seasons, including six with the Bucs.

    Now a filmmaker, Rice has become the answer to a trivia question as the last Bucs player to record 10 or more sacks in a single season, which he accomplished in 2005. In fact, Rice averaged double-digit sacks for his career....

    Former Bucs great Simeon Rice, right, works with current Bucs defensive end Noah Spence as Ryan Russell looks on after practice Saturday.
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    "I just felt hot," Winston said. "I was like, 'Man, somebody's going to get it.' "

    In no way does that diminish another overall solid performance by Winston. He went 21 of 29 passing for 196 yards and led the Bucs to scores on their first three possessions....

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    The Bucs are putting more and more of their offense on Winston's right shoulder, and that shoulder seems plenty strong enough to carry this team....

    Jameis Winston completed 21-of-28 passes for 196 yards and led the Bucs to three scoring drives in the first half. [AP photo]
  6. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move, and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right shoulder to a clear path to the quarterback.

    Bucs teammates, watching the pass-rush drill during a joint workout with the Jaguars on Tuesday, reacted with a chorus of "Ooh, ooh, ooh!"...

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive ends Noah Spence (far right) and Robert Ayers (in white) practice yoga during an instructed session at Performance Compound in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  7. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: "I got your back."

    Then he proved it.

    After being told backup quarterback Ryan Griffin had suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder, ending his battle for the No. 2 quarterback job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston spotted two backup offensive linemen yucking it up on the bench....

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  8. Jameis Winston's scolding of offensive linemen was a strong leadership moment

    Blog

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs" preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: ‘I got your back.’

    Then he proved it.

    After being told backup quarterback Ryan Griffin had suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder, ending his battle for the No. 2 quarterback job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston spotted two backup offensive linemen yucking it up on the bench....

  9. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong leadership moment

    Blog

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs" preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: ‘I got your back.’...

  10. Brent Grimes' injury opens playing time for prospects

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — With starting CB Brent Grimes out with a right leg laceration, this week is a great time for the Bucs to take a look at some developing talent at that position.

    Second-year pro Ryan Smith, who is at converted safety, has benefitted by Grimes injury and is getting many reps with the first-team defense.

    "I think Ryan is very talented," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "He needs reps. He's getting a lot with Grimes not practicing, it's giving him an opportunity to get a lot of reps and they're going to be great learning moments for him in very competitive situations. This isn't a situation like when we practice against ourselves. You have to re-route receivers and there are different situations and he's learning. It's a learning curve for him. He hasn't really played a (regular-season) snap (at cornerback). Last week was his first time (in preseason), and he's going to get extended time this week."...

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith (29) questions an official after being flagged for pass interference during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  11. Tempers flare as Bucs and Jaguars show some fight

    Bucs

    Went to a fight and a football practice broke out.

    The Bucs and Jaguars practiced for a second straight day in advance of their Thursday night preseason game. But on Tuesday, it got pretty chippy.

    First, Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith and Jags defensive end Yannick Ngakoue got into a heated discussion during a pass rush drill. Smith shove Ngakoue, who countered by hitting him in the facemask. Then centers Joe Hawley and Ali Marpet joined in, with Hawley losing his helmet....

    Things got chippy Tuesday as the Bucs and Jaguars practiced for a second straight day in advance of their Thursday night preseason game. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  12. Tempers flare as Bucs and Jaguars show some fight

    Blog

    Went to a fight and a football practice broke out....

  13. Bucs turn page (quickly) to Nick Folk

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Dirk Koetter beamed like a new father, ready to pass out cigars.

    "Our new kicker is Nick Folk," Koetter said after the Bucs' joint workout with the Jaguars on Monday. "I saw him make five out of six (field goals) today."

    Indeed, Bucs' Folk-lore will show that during the first practice without Roberto Aguayo, the kicking game was in good feet.

    In fact, that might have been the highlight for the team's offense, which struggled most of the hot and humid afternoon. Receivers dropped passes. Others were deflected and intercepted. Protection broke down. ...

    Nick Folk (2) kicks during the third day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  14. Bucs cut beleaguered kicker Roberto Aguayo

    Bucs

    Unafraid to admit their mistake, the Bucs have released beleaguered place-kicker Roberto Aguayo just a little over a year after taking him in the second round.

    Aguayo, whose 71 percent field goal percentage was the worst in the NFL as a rookie, likely sealed his fate by missing and extra point and a 47-yard field goal attempt in Friday's preseason loss at Cincinnati. Those misses came after he connected on his first kick, a 20-yard field goal to five the Bucs a 3-0 lead....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks a field goal from the hold of Bryan Anger (9) during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Cincinnati.