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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. Time for Bucs to start finding playmakers

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs feel the need for speed, especially on offense, where coach Dirk Koetter noted how their fuse kept going out on explosive plays last season.

    "We need more speed, and when we say playmakers, playmakers and explosive plays are one and the same," Koetter said, "guys that can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain. Our run after the catch is not where it needs to be.''...

    With wide receiver Vincent Jackson, left, set to leave in free agency, the Bucs’ desire to build around QB Jameis Winston is an even bigger focus.
  2. Hate to admit it: Bucs are the best choice for Hard Knocks

    Blog

    Jameis Winston could be ratings gold. The camera captures charisma. Cut to Winston driving in the dark to One Buc Place, interacting with coaches and teammates. Oh, the motivational moments. (“We some dogs, we ain’t no puppies!’)

    Mike Evans is a budding superstar, but not shy about speaking his mind. You will see the intensity of Kwon Alexander and Robert Ayers. There will be bleeps. Gerald McCoy is constantly counting his blessings....

  3. Bucs Licht needs to duplicate free agent success of 2016

    Blog

    Free agency can be the cubic zirconium of the NFL. Fool’s gold. The Bucs have experienced that many times over.

    But general manager Jason Licht and his staff have built a solid core of players through the draft and their approach to free agency has changed for the better.

    Licht just needs to build on the success he had last year in free agency and it will become an important tool to push the Bucs into playoff contention. Consider what the Bucs were able to do last year and the important contributions free agents made in 2016....

    Brent Grimes was the only Bucs defender to have a rating over 90 or better by Pro Football Focus.
  4. Hate to admit it but the Bucs would be perfect for Hard Knocks

    Blog

    Jameis Winston could be ratings gold. He drips charisma. Cut to Winston driving in the dark to One Buc Place. Interacting with coaches and teammates. Oh, the motivational moments. (“We some dogs, we ain’t no puppies!’)

    Mike Evans is a budding superstar, but not shy about speaking his mind. Kwon Alexander and Robert Ayers might require some bleeps. Gerald McCoy is constantly counting his blessings. Coach Dirk Koetter is a heck of a lot more intense than anybody outside of One Buc Place realizes....

    Jameis Winston could be ratings gold. He drips charisma, Rick Stroud writes.
  5. Bucs raise season ticket prices for second straight year

    Bucs

    TAMPA — After their first winning season in six years, the Bucs are making some of their fans pay more to see a game at Raymond James Stadium next season.

    For the second year in a row, the Bucs are raising season ticket prices for most seats, with increases as much as 20 percent for some upper- and lower-level seats.

    The team began a social media blitz advertising season ticket passes Saturday....

  6. Bucs increase price of season tickets for second straight year

    Blog

    After enjoying their first winning season in six years, the Bucs are making some of their fans pay more to see a game at Raymond James Stadium in 2017.

    For the second year in a row, the Bucs are raising season ticket prices in most seats, with increases as much as 20 percent for some upper and lower level seats.

    The team began a social media blitz advertising season ticket passes Saturday....

  7. Bucs need Noah Spence to make a Beasley-like improvement

    Blog

    Two days before Super Bowl LI in Houston, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff recalled a conversation he had with Vic Beasley following his rookie year....

  8. Bucs again unlikely to utilize franchise tag this year

    Blog

    The Bucs rarely use their franchise or transition player tag and that isn’t expected to change this year.

    The two-week window to apply one of those tags began today and runs through March 1. The Bucs used their franchise tag on tackle Paul Gruber the first time it was available in 1993. But in the 23 years since, Tampa Bay has utilized that designation only three other times.

    The franchise tag can be applied to a player about to enter unrestricted free agency. It would guarantee that player a one-year contract at the average salary of the top five players at that position. The transition tag guarantees a one-year deal at the average salary of the top 10 players at that position. However, if 120 percent of a player’s salary from the previous season is higher, he would receive that amount....

  9. Kiper mock draft has Bucs taking WR Corey Davis at 19

    Blog

    Oh, if only the NFL draft would fall this way for the Bucs.

    In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis falling to Tampa Bay at No. 19 overall.

    To say the Bucs would be delighted to see this actually happen is an understatement. Among the most glaring needs is to continue to surround quarterback Jameis Winston with more weapons. Vincent Jackson is a free agent, and at 34, is contemplating retirement although no decision has been reached....

  10. Falcons' Super Bowl collapse may rank as worst in sports history

    Bucs

    HOUSTON — It's almost impossible for a football team to come back from a result like this. The hole can be way too deep, the outlook too dark.

    We're talking about the Falcons, not the Patriots.

    How did Atlanta blow a 25-point lead when no team had ever lost a Super Bowl when ahead by more than 10? The historic collapse may have an impact on the organization for years.

    Tom Brady is the best NFL quarterback of all time. The debate ended Sunday night when he led the biggest comeback in the biggest game, beating the Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win his fifth Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LI....

    In this photo taken Feb. 5, 2017, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan reacts after losing Super Bowl 51 as the screen flashes New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and confetti flies in Houston. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) GAATJ901
  11. Record-setting Brady leads biggest rally as Patriots win Super Bowl

    Bucs

    HOUSTON — The nation was divided. The debate was deafening. But we came together as a people to watch Super Bowl LI on Sunday.

    Finally, something we all can agree on.

    Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever to play in the NFL. Bill Belichick is the best coach, maybe in all of sports.

    What happened in Super Bowl LI wasn't just history. It was about legacy. It was about a team and a quarterback that refused to lose. The Patriots trailed the Falcons 21-0. Then 21-3 at halftime. Then 28-3 with under 2½ minutes left in the third quarter. But somehow, some way, Brady engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, leading New England to 25 unanswered points to send the game into overtime....

    Patriots receiver Julian Edelman lunges for a memorable catch, squeezing between Ricardo Allen, left, Robert Alford, bottom, and Keanu Neal for a 23-yard gain during the fourth-quarter rally.
  12. Steinbrenner grad enjoys Super Bowl as Patriots intern

    Blog

    Shannen Moen will be on the Patriots sideline today for Super Bowl LI. A rookie, she graduated in May from Alabama.

    Alabama and Nick Saban. Now the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

    "How I managed to go from the best team in college to the best team in the NFL…I think it’s luck," Moen said.

    And a lot of hard work. Moen, who lives in Lutz and went to Steinbrenner High School, is a social media intern for the Patriots. The internship was supposed to be for the season. But this is the Patriots, and the season often ends in the Super Bowl....

  13. Patriots' Tom Brady looks ready to continue to defy Father Time

    Bucs

    HOUSTON — Tom Brady is 39 and has Super Bowl victories over the Rams, Panthers, Eagles and Seahawks.

    Oh, and he has also kicked the butt of Father Time.

    With a win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI today, Brady would become the first quarterback to win five Lombardi trophies. Here's the only thing more amazing than that: He's not done. The guy is going to lick the spoon.

    Brady is going to savor more from his career than any athlete in professional sports. You may recall that last year Peyton Manning, at 39, became the oldest quarterback to win an NFL title when the Broncos beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl. But Manning was a broken-down passenger along for the ride....

    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who had 28 touchdowns and two interceptions during the regular season, says he hopes to continue playing well into his 40s.
  14. Former Bucs safety John Lynch falls short of Hall of Fame again

    Bucs

    HOUSTON — John Lynch's wait to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame will continue. And he could be waiting for many years to come.

    Lynch was denied entry again Saturday on his fourth straight year as one of the 15 finalists for the Class of 2017.

    "Sure, it's disappointing. But I've got enough going on, anyway," he told KUSA in Denver.

    Lynch was named the 49ers general manager last Sunday. ...

    Jason Taylor
  15. Making the case for Bucs' Lynch to make the Hall of Fame

    Bucs

    HOUSTON — What a week this could be for John Lynch. On Sunday, he was named the 49ers' surprise pick for general manager. In a league that has more leaks than a screen ceiling, nobody saw that coming.

    Today, Lynch could (should) be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's a finalist for the class of 2017, and voters will meet at Super Bowl LI with an announcement to be made during the NFL Honors show. ...

    John Lynch was known for playing close to the line of scrimmage and providing run support as a Bucs safety.