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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

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  1. Jameis Winston injures throwing shoulder, Bucs concerned


    Jameis Winston knew something was wrong with his right throwing shoulder. He was hit by linebacker Chandler Jones trying to complete a pass on third down in the first series of the game in the Bucs’ 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals....

  2. With Jameis Winston hurt, Bucs suddenly find themselves in crisis mode


    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jameis Winston is hurt. Let's start with those four words that can change a game. They can change a season. They can lead to other changes.

    For 37 consecutive starts, the Bucs quarterback is the one thing the team and the town could count on.

    The defense is a yo-yo. It goes up and down each week, and on Sunday, allowed the Bucs to fall behind 31-0. Adrian Peterson, at 32 and playing his first game for the Cardinals, rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Carson Palmer hit his first 14 passes....

    Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson rushes for a touchdown during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Winston hurts throwing shoulder, Bucs fall 38-33


    Quarterback Jameis Winston hurt his right throwing shoulder and was forced to leave the game in the second quarter of the Bucs’ 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday.

    Suddenly, a Bucs season so drunk with promise showed signs of withering in the dry Arizona desert.

  4. Bucs' offensive line is playing like one of NFL's best


    TAMPA — When Ali Marpet is not strumming his ukulele under a palm tree on the beach, he's in the film room studying the defensive fronts of the Bucs' next opponent. His move from guard to center has been the singular biggest change to the offensive line, which has played in near perfect concert with Marpet.

    Next to Marpet is right guard J.R. Sweezy, who spent last season on injured reserve recovering from a herniated disc. In this band of brothers, if Marpet does the strings, Sweezy is in charge of the percussion as a thumping run blocker....

    Center Ali Marpet, right, with Cameron Brate, has been the line’s key change.
  5. Could the Bucs rediscover their identity in the desert?


    TAMPA — The Bucs' ground-breaking moment came against New England, when Doug Martin took a deep handoff and ran into the line behind tight end O.J. Howard. He made a jump cut to his right and sliced left away from Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, slipping the tackle and dragging cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Devin McCourty a half yard shy of the end zone....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) celebrates his touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.
  6. Bruce Arians hoping Adrian Peterson will 'jump start' the run game


    The Cardinals hope Adrian Peterson can jump start the NFL's worst rushing attack, and he will get a chance to do that Sunday against the Bucs.

    Peterson, who was traded from the Saints this week for a conditional late-round pick, will get the football often on Sunday despite only having a few days of practice with the Cardinals, coach Bruce Arians indicated....

    Adrian Peterson, playing for the New Orleans Saints, prepares for a game against the Miami Dolphins last month in London.  [AP photo]
  7. Arians hoping Adrian Peterson will 'jump start' the run game


    The Cardinals hope Adrian Peterson can jumpstart the NFL's worst rushing attack and he will get a chance to do that Sunday against the Bucs.

    Peterson, who was traded from the Saints this week for a conditional late-round pick, will get the football often on Sunday despite only having a few days of practice with the Cardinals, coach Bruce Arians indicated.

    "He's run our style of offense for awhile and it's just learning terminology,'' Arians said. "But we plan on getting him the football and see if we can get our running game started.''...

  8. Patrick Murray rejoins Bucs, feeling like an improved kicker, better person


    TAMPA — Patrick Murray was happy to be back at One Buc Place on Tuesday, happy to be back in the NFL after interviewing at financial firms and considering putting his Fordham education to use as a commodities trader or in orthopedics. But since being released in training camp by the Saints, he and his father would still go down to Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) at 1 p.m. every Monday-Wednesday-Friday so he could kick for an hour....

    Patrick Murray enjoys hitting a 54-yard field goal during the 2014 season, when he was with the Bucs. Having rejoined the team this week, he says: “I’m a better man. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’m a better man. So absolutely, I’m a better kicker as well.”
  9. Bucs chose PK Patrick Murray for his body of work, Folk to IR


    Injuries is what has always stopped Patrick Murray, not inaccuracy, which is why the Bucs agreed to terms with him to replace Nick Folk as their place-kicker.

    Folk, 32, will be placed on injured reserve with a minor injury designation. He has tendinitis in his left plant leg.

    Murray, 26, was chosen Monday following a workout with four other kickers - former Chargers kicker Josh Lambo, former Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks, former Bengals kicker Mike Nugent, who played for the Bucs briefly in 2009, and former Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn. The Bucs also brought former Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos in for a physical. He is about three weeks away from returning from a groin injury....

  10. Does Bucs' QB Jameis Winston get too pumped for big games?


    TAMPA— Bucs QB Jameis Winston is all passion but not as much precision at this point in his career. When you see him pumping up his team before games — especially those in prime time — he is shouting and his eyes are so wide they look as though they might pop out of their sockets.

    You love the fire, but in big games, Winston might need a little less fury.

    Such was the case again Thursday against five-time Super Bowl champion QB Tom Brady and the Patriots. Winston spoke all week about how excited he was to meet Brady, who wasn't having it until after he finished talking with reporters following the game....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) on a run in the fourth quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New England Patriots on October 5, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
  11. What the Bucs did to anger the kicking gods


    TAMPA — This isn't really Nick Folk's fault. The blame doesn't belong to Roberto Aguayo, who suddenly couldn't kick straight. The responsibility should not stop at the doorstep of general manager Jason Licht. It pre-dates him by about five years.

    It's not about Connor Barth's torn Achilles, Lawrence Tynes' MRSA or the trade for Kyle Brindza.

    In Tampa Bay, they've been kicking like the Army marches —- left, right, left —for quite some time....

    Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) reacts to his game winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 30-28. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  12. Nick Folk is still Bucs' kicker even as team begins arranging tryouts for his job


    Nick Folk was still the Bucs place-kicker on Friday even as the team began arranging to work out players at that position next week.

    Folk has missed seven kicks in four games – five field goals and two extra points. He missed all three kicks in Thursday night's 19-14 loss to the Patriots....

    Nick Folk (2) reacts after missing a field goal at the end of the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  13. Bucs' Jameis Winston: 'The quarterback has to make a play'


    There are a lot of passes quarterback Jameis Winston wished he could have back, but he spoke about two in particular following Thursday night's 19-14 loss to the Patriots.

    The first one came in the third quarter when he threw too long for receiver DeSean Jackson, who had badly beaten cornerback Malcolm Butler for what could have been a 58-yard touchdown....

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston looks for an open receiver. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]