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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.

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E-mail: stroud@tampabay.com

Blog: Bucs Beat

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

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  1. Bucs sign WR Murphy to 3 year extension

    Blog

    Louis Murphy is staying home.

    The former Lakewood High and Florida Gators receiver signed a three-year extension with the Bucs Friday, the team announced.

    Murphy, 27, played in 11 games with the Bucs this season and caught 31 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns. Murphy was released by the Bucs just before the start of the regular season, but resigned three weeks later.

    In his first game back wiith the Bucs, he had six catches for 99 yards, including a 41-yarder that set up the game-winning touchdown in a 27-24 win at Pittsburgh....

    Louis Murphy stretches to gain 12 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown during the Bucs' November game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.
  2. Bucs agree with WR Louis Murphy on 3-year deal

    Blog

    Louis Murphy is the son of a preacher, but his faith was tested when the Bucs released him just one day before the start of the regular season.

    Murphy kept working, and after being re-signed by the team three weeks later, had a 41-yard reception to set up the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    The Bucs are 2-13 entering Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints and Murphy could've become a free agent after the season. But this time, the former Lakewood High and Florida Gators receiver is showing his  belief in the Bucs by signing a three-year extension Friday....

    Louis Murphy stretches to gain 12 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown during the Bucs' November game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.
  3. Bucs' David called 'underrated,' by Saints coach Payton after Pro Bowl snub

    Blog

    Bucs linebacker Lavonte David was left off the Pro Bowl team again this year but was named an alternate....

  4. Bucs McCown plans to keep playing

    Blog

    Josh McCown will be 36 on the 4th of July. He is 1-10 as a starter this season with 10 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for the Bucs, who most likely will strongly consider selecting a quarterback with the first or second overall pick....

  5. Gerald McCoy lone Buc picked for Pro Bowl

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Gerald McCoy said it never gets old being named to the Pro Bowl and was thrilled when he received the honor for the third straight year on Tuesday. But the Bucs' defensive tackle is tired of it being the only postseason game he's invited to play in.

    "We're going to get this thing turned around," McCoy said. "But really, what's going to have to happen is we're going to have to decide in the locker room that it's time to change the culture. We can't allow this to keep happening. That's five years straight for me I've missed the postseason. Quite frankly, I'm tired of dealing with it. We're all going to have to pick it up as a unit, as a team and get this thing rolling."...

    Gerald McCoy
  6. Bucs McCoy named to 3rd straight Pro Bowl

    Blog

    Gerald McCoy said it never gets old being named to the Pro Bowl and was thrilled when he received the honor for the third straight year on Tuesday. But the Bucs’ defensive tackle is tired of it being the only post-season game he’s invited to play in.

    “We’re going to get this thing turned around,’’ McCoy said. “But really, what’s going to have to happen is we’re going to have to decide in the locker room that it’s time to change the culture. We can’t allow this to keep happening. That’s five years straight for me I’ve missed the post-season. Quite frankly, I’m tired of dealing with it. We’re all going to have to pick it up as a unit, as a team and get this thing rolling.’’...

  7. Bucs want to win, but eager for high draft pick

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs are not on the clock yet for the NFL draft, but it's fair to say they're counting down to the end of 2014 like Ryan Seacrest in Times Square.

    Every thorn has its rose. For Bucs coach Lovie Smith, at 2-13, it's the realization his team could own the first or second pick in each round of the NFL draft next spring.

    A loss to New Orleans on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium would clinch the top spot based on the worst won-loss record of opponents' strength of schedule. Even if the Bucs defeat the Saints, Tampa Bay should net no worse than the No. 2 overall pick....

    Bucs Josh McCown (12) is sacked by Packers Mike Neal (96) during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Packers at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday 12/21/2014
  8. Punchless Bucs fall to Packers

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Any Green Bay Packers fan worth his Instagram photo account left Sunday's 20-3 win over the Buccaneers with a few new tan lines and some terrific shots of his Christmas vacation to Florida.

    Image 1

    See the largest Raymond James Stadium crowd (64,247) in two years, two-thirds of it wearing cheeseheads and turning the new Sombrero into a Lambeau Field south. You can't really blame Bucs fans for selling their tickets rather than watch a 2-13 team while the Pack clinched a playoff spot in their yard....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) gets sacked by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52). [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  9. Bucs' Vincent Jackson an all-around positive

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Vincent Jackson was named the Bucs' man of the year for the second straight season for his help with military families. He even published a book he wrote, Danny Dogtags, about the challenges children face while relatives are deployed in military service.

    The 10th-year receiver also has been a good soldier on the field, never complaining when rookie Mike Evans started getting more passes aimed in his direction. Jackson has provided a great example on and off the field for Evans to follow....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) holds his pink gloves in his face guard while on the field during warmups before taking on the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sunday (10/12/14). The pink gloves and pink accents on the field and uniforms are in support of breast cancer awareness month.
  10. If Demar Dotson plan works, Bucs might tackle other priorities

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Demar Dotson has nimble feet, long arms and good strength, all important traits to play left tackle.

    Protecting the quarterback's blind side is among the most important jobs on any football team. Next to a great edge rusher or the quarterback, it's also the hardest to adequately fill. It's not easy blocking the best pass rushers who line up on the right and whip around the corner like thoroughbreds on the backstretch at Churchill Downs....

    “I’ve been on the right side … then you go over to the left and it’s like a foreign language,” Dotson says of switching.
  11. Ex-Bucs QB Josh Freeman working to return to NFL

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The last time the Packers played at Raymond James Stadium, on Nov. 8, 2009, Josh Freeman made his first NFL start at quarterback and won 38-28, becoming the third rookie in Bucs history to win his first start.

    But since being released by the Giants on May 30 — his third team in a year — Freeman has flown under the NFL radar. In a league that employs quarterbacks such as the Bears' Jimmy Clausen and the Cardinals' Ryan Lindley, a guy who passed for 13,724 and 80 touchdowns in five seasons is a relative ghost. ...

    The last time the Packers played at Raymond James Stadium, Josh Freeman made his first NFL start at quarterback and won 38-28, becoming the third rookie in Bucs history to win his first start. [Times files (2009)]
  12. What has become of Josh Freeman?

    Blog

    Vincent Jackson has kept in touch with him and says he’s back at his home in Kansas City. Gerald McCoy says he has known him since high school and prays he can return to the NFL.

    The last time the Packers played at Raymond James Stadium, on Nov. 8, 2009, Josh Freeman made his first NFL start at quarterback and won 38-28.

    But since being released by the New York Giants May 30 –his third team in a year -- Freeman has flown beneath the NFL radar. In a league that employs quarterbacks such as Jimmy Clausen and Ryan Lindley, the guy who passed for 13,724 and 80 touchdowns in five NFL seasons is a relative ghost....

  13. Turnovers a big issue for Bucs' McCown

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It's strange because Josh McCown protected the football like a family heirloom last season.

    Now he holds it like a tray of hors d'oeuvres.

    Opponents have feasted off McCown's 16 turnovers — 12 interceptions and four fumbles. The only players to have more turnovers this year are Jets second-year quarterback Geno Smith and Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles.

    "Not what you want as a quarterback," said Bucs offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. "It's something that he did not do last year. At all. He was as good as it gets in the league. A lot of (the turnovers) were in the pocket this year. A lot of them were ball-security things....

    Opponents have feasted off Josh McCown's 16 turnovers - 12 interceptions and four lost fumbles. [AP photo]
  14. Glennon still believes he's the Bucs QB of the future

    Blog

    The Bucs have been eliminated from the playoffs, have the worst record in football and currently own the No. 1 pick in a draft that's top heavy with Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks.

    Sounds like a time to look to the future, right?

    But despite throwing 12 interceptions and losing four fumbles, the Bucs have decided to stick with veteran Josh McCown. Does Mike Glennon, who went 1-4 as a starter this season, still think he is the team's quarterback of the future as stated by coach Lovie Smith?...