Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Rick Stroud, Times staff writer

Rick Stroud, Times staff writer

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including Donovan Smith, Gerald McCoy and DeSean Jackson, pose for a photo with other dignitaries during an announcement of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers social justice initiative on September 18, 2018 at the Tampa Police Department Training Academy in Tampa, Fla. The Glazers pledged $1 million in matching funds of Tampa Bay Buccaneers players contributions to organizations committed to social justice in Tampa Bay. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times

Bucs announce social justice initiative

TAMPA — Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson stepped out of his cleats and walked in the shoes of a Tampa police officer during a simulation training session Tuesday that was eye-opening."I was a police officer doing a regular (traffic)...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) walks towards the bench after calling a timeout during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Eagles.[MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What happens when Jameis Winston returns?

Who should start at quarterback for the Bucs in Week 4, when Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension?Head coach Dirk Koetter won't talk about it, while DeSean Jackson says, "you can't take the hot man out." But what might...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Why has the protection been so good for Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick? It goes back t the lines squaring off in training camp.(LUIS SANTANA | Times)

Bucs journal: Better QB protection result of training camp battles

TAMPA— Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is off to an incredibly hot start, and a big reason for it is the protection he is getting from the offensive line.Fitzpatrick has only been sacked twice in 61 pass attempts. According to...
Published: 09/17/18
If the Bucs have a quarterback dilemma when Jameis Winston, left, returns from suspension, it isn't whether he or Ryan Fitzpatrick, right, will start, says Rick Stroud. [Times files (2017)]

While others debate Winston or Fitzpatrick, the Bucs will answer this question

TAMPA — If there is a quarterback dilemma for the Bucs, it is this: When do they make the switch to Jameis Winston?Sure, Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his life. He's 2-0 with consecutive games of at least 400...
Published: 09/17/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick at the postgame press conference. Deal with it.

After going 2-0, Tampa Bay quarterback shows up to press conference wearing sunglasses and dripping in diamonds and gold

Ryan Fitzpatrick was ready to dress for success.
Published: 09/17/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick hands off to Peyton Barber (25) during the Bucs' victory over the Eagles Sunday in Tampa. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Ryan Fitzpatrick leads Bucs to 2-0 start

FitzMagic continues as Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the Bucs to their first 2-0 start since 2010, beating the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles, 27-21.Fitzpatrick throws for over 400 yards and four touchdowns for the second game in a...
Published: 09/17/18
When you throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns after beating Drew Brees and the defending Super Bowl champs in back to back weeks, you can dress however you want.  Fitzpatrick showed up for his postgame press conference Sunday looking like he had raided DeSean Jackson's wardrobe -- which he had. Said Fitzpatrick:

Bucs-Eagles: Ryan Fitzpatrick, teammates are not who we thought they were

TAMPA  — Ryan Fitzpatrick was ready to dress for success. After shredding the Philadelphia Eagles for 402 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 27-21 win Sunday, once again he was helped out by receiver DeSean Jackson.
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18
Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a touchdown pass to Mike Evans in the third quarter of the Bucs' win over the Eagles. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Ryan Fitzpatrick throws four TD passes as Bucs upend Eagles, 27-21

It took 11 seconds for Ryan Fitzpatrick to prove last week was no fluke.The Bucs' white-hot quarterback connected with DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles.It...
Published: 09/16/18
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson takes part in a media availability for the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Minneapolis. Philadelphia is scheduled to face the New England Patriots Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Bucs-Eagles: Why Tampa Bay needs to be ready for anything

TAMPA — The last time the Bucs used a trick play was Lovie Smith's first season as head coach in 2014. It didn't work. Running back Bobby Rainey took a handoff and ran to his left. Since he is left-handed, there may have been an element...
Published: 09/15/18
Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson (1) trots off the field during training camp on Aug. 22, 2018.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]

Bucs receiver depth could be tested by the heat

TAMPA – DeSean Jackson practiced Friday but was still under concussion protocol, so that's why the Bucs feel good about their wide receiver depth. Not just because of injuries, but to combat what is expected to be a very hot...
Published: 09/14/18