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

  1. Return of Tampa 2 excites Bucs' Gerald McCoy

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The uniform design is contemporary. Some players still need directions to One Buc Place, and the coaching staff is new.

    But as disruptive as the changes might be, the Bucs and tackle Gerald McCoy hope a nostalgic return to the Tampa 2 will create more havoc on defense.

    "It's definitely going to be different," McCoy said. "We're playing the old-school, traditional Tampa 2 defense, and all we've been watching is old Chicago tape when (new Bucs coach Lovie Smith) was there. When (the Bucs) were in their prime, from 1996 to 2002, we've been watching all that tape because that's when the Tampa 2 was really thriving and took over the league. I'm excited about it."...

    Gerald McCoy, right, taking down Bills quarterback EJ Manuel for one of his 91/2 sacks last season, hopes to play the role of Warren Sapp in the Bucs’ Tampa 2.
  2. Manziel may be on radar for Lovie Smith, Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA

    Lovie Smith hit the pause button. Not just on life during his year away from football, but on the games he watched on television during fall weekends.

    "I really enjoyed the time being a fan, watching our game, studying our game. Looking at different coaches," Smith said. "And then, everything I believe in, my core values and how I run a football team.

    "I had a chance to analyze all of that, and the conclusion I came to is we're not going to make a lot of drastic changes on how I believe you treat people and how you win football games. But there are some things that we will do differently, and I guess you'll have to wait until we start playing games to see that."...

    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies rolls out and looks downfield to pass during the the Chick-fil-A Bowl game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
  3. Bucs preseason schedule released, Williams looms in third week

    Blog

    Bills receiver Mike Williams can begin to exact a measure of revenge against the Bucs in the third week of the preseason when Tampa Bay visits Buffalo.

    That was among the highlights to the Bucs' preseason schedule, which was released Wednesday. Date and times of the games will be announced at a later time.

    Williams was traded to the Bills for a sixth-round pick in next month's NFL draft....

    Bills receiver Mike Williams can begin to exact a measure of revenge against the Bucs in the third week of the preseason when Tampa Bay visits Buffalo.
  4. Eastern Ilinois QB Garoppolo visits Bucs

    Blog

    Another day, another visit from a quarterback prospect at One Buc Place.

    Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo met with coach Lovie Smith and other members of the coaching and front office staff at the club's facility Tuesday, the team confirmed.

    Garoppolo, the 2013 Walter Payton Award winner and FCS Offensive Player of the Year, has emerged as a possible first round pick following impressive work at the East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine....

  5. Glennon plans to compete with McCown for Bucs' starting QB job

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Mike Glennon said he received a call from coach Lovie Smith shortly after the Bucs signed Bears free agent QB Josh McCown last month.

    "He just said, 'to start out, there's got to be a person to start that goes out with the first group first and that person is Josh,' " Glennon said.

    After Glennon went 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, the Bucs signed the top available free agent quarterback. While it looks as though he might be headed back to the bench, Glennon said Tuesday he plans to compete with McCown and could win the job....

    After going 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, Mike Glennon was good but not good enough to prevent the Bucs from signing the top available free agent quarterback.
  6. Bucs players come away impressed by Smith

    Blog

    Lovie Smith hasn't coached a game for the Bucs, but it appears he already has won over his new players.

    Addressing his team as a group for the first time Monday, the start of the off-season workout program, Smith said he expects to win this year, starting with the NFC South division.

    The quietude and confidence in Smith's delivery was in stark contrast to that of coach Greg Schiano, a self-described disciplinarian who was fired after only two seasons and an 10-22 record....

    Addressing his team as a group for the first time Monday, the start of the off-season workout program, Lovie Smith said he expects to win this year, starting with the NFC South division.
  7. Glennon plans to compete with McCown to start at QB

    Blog

    Mike Glennon said he received a call from coach Lovie Smith shortly after the Bucs signed Bears free agent quarterback Josh McCown last month.

    "He just said, 'to start out, there's got to be a person to start that goes out with the first group first and that person is Josh,'' Glennon said.

    After going 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, Glennon was good but not good enough to prevent the Bucs from signing the top available free agent quarterback....

    After going 4-9 as a rookie and throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions, MIke Glennon was good but not good enough to prevent the Bucs from signing the top available free agent quarterback.
  8. Mike Williams: Bucs trading him a mistake

    Bucs

    Saying he wants to prove the Bucs made a mistake by trading him to the Bills, receiver Mike Williams said Monday that he has to "grow up a little bit more."

    Despite that acknowledgement at his introductory news conference, Williams insisted that he was guilty mostly of having a big heart and said two stories about his off-field problems weren't factual. He refused to specify but claimed some charges against him were unfounded....

    Receiver Mike Williams speaks for the first time since he was traded following off-field issues.
  9. Williams says he wants to prove Bucs made a mistake

    Blog

    Saying he wants to prove the Bucs made a mistake by trading him to the Buffalo Bills, receiver Mike Williams admitted he has to ‘grow up a little bit more.’’...

  10. Bucs open off-season program, Bridgewater visit and more

    Blog

    Bucs coach Lovie Smith addressed his players for the first time as a group Monday as the team began its off-season workout program.

    The Bucs also received a visit from one player who could possibly join them soon - Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

    Each team is allowed to bring up to 30 players to the team's headquarters for a pre-draft visit. The Bucs plan to visit with other highly-rated quarterbacks such as Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr....

    Lavelle Hawkins previously played with the Titans and Chargers.
  11. Bucs to examine many receiver options

    Bucs

    TAMPA

    Had the Bucs not been able to trade WR Mike Williams to the Bills, it's a certainty they would've released him before Monday, the first day of the club's offseason workout program.

    Coach Lovie Smith puts an emphasis on character when evaluating players. And even before the stabbing incident in which Williams was a victim, although not blameless, the decision had been made to attempt to deal the No. 2 receiver....

    Clemson’s Sammy Watkins is quite desirable but might not be available at No. 7.
  12. Bucs agree to terms with Bears S Major Wright

    Blog

    Bears safety Major Wright is returning to the state where he played collegiately, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Bucs.

    The former Florida Gators star had 100 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 15 games with the Bears last season. He will provide depth for the Bucs behind safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson.

    Wright will be reunited with coach Lovie Smith, whom he played under in Chicago from 2010-12. Wright was a third round pick by the Bears out of Florida in 2010....

  13. Bucs trade Mike Williams to Buffalo

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Unable to stay out of the trouble off the field, Mike Williams made one more headline Friday: Traded to the Bills.

    Tampa Bay contacted all 31 other teams trying to deal their troubled receiver, but only two showed interest. Ultimately, the Bucs felt fortunate to get a sixth-round pick in next month's NFL draft from Buffalo, where he will reunite with Doug Marrone, his former coach at Syracuse....

    The Bucs got a sixth-round pick from Buffalo for Mike Williams.
  14. Bucs trade WR Mike Williams to Bills for 6th round pick

    Blog

    Unable to stay out of the trouble off the field, Mike Williams made one more headline Friday: Traded to the Buffalo Bills for the sixth round pick in next month's NFL draft.

    Tampa Bay contacted all 31 other teams in an effort to deal their troubled receiver, but only two showed any interest. Ultimately, they felt fortunate to get a sixth round pick from Buffalo where he will be reunited with Doug Marrone, his former head coach at Syracuse....

  15. Rays' Alex Cobb surprisingly wild in season debut

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays right-hander Alex Cobb has always been a picture of control — of his emotions and his pitches.

    But in his first start of the season, he struggled with both in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

    Pitching to new catcher Ryan Hanigan for the first time in the regular season, Cobb appeared to work slowly and exited the game quickly. He allowed a 411-foot, three-run homer to centerfield in the first inning to DH Adam Lind....