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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. Bucs give rave reviews to Winston's pro day performance

    Bucs

    TALLAHASSEE — Jameis Winston made 102 pass attempts at Florida State's pro day Tuesday, about twice the amount of throws by some quarterback prospects.

    "He threw a full nine innings," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. When it was over, Winston made one more pitch:

    Why should he be the No. 1 overall pick of the Bucs?

    "Because I'm the best player in this draft," Winston said....

    Unofficially, Jameis Winston completed 91 of 102 attempts with five drops, and exhaustive workout choreographed by his private quarterback coach, George Whitfield. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  2. Lovie Smith believes in second chances

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It didn't start with Jameis Winston. It won't end with him, either. Lovie Smith has a history of gambling on a few players capable of creating mayhem on and off the field.

    Since the last preseason alone, the Bucs have looked closely at signing, trading for or drafting Richie Incognito, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Winston, who despite several tawdry events at Florida State could become the face of the franchise if the Bucs use their No. 1 overall draft pick on him next month....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith answers a question as NFC football coaches meet with the media during the NFL’s annual meeting, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AZRF105
  3. Bucs field trade inquiries for Mike Glennon

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — Seemingly poised to take Florida State QB Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick in the April 30 draft, the Bucs have been getting plenty of inquiries from teams wanting to trade for Mike Glennon.

    Coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday discussions about Glennon, who is 5-13 as a starter, could continue until the draft.

    "We've had the first pick and we've been taking calls for a long period of time, and I assume that would go right up until the draft," Smith said. "Yes, specifically on Glennon."...

    Mike Glennon, a third-round pick in 2013, is 5-13 as an on-again, off-again starter, but Bucs coach Lovie Smith says Glennon “is on our roster because we think he can play.’’
  4. Lovie Smith says Bucs favor Jameis Winston for No. 1

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — Bucs coach Lovie Smith fessed up to what is the worst-kept secret in the NFL: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the team's favorite to become the No. 1 overall pick.

    When asked at the owners meeting Wednesday if it would be an "erroneous assumption," to believe the Bucs will choose Winston over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or another player, Smith shook his head....

    When asked at the owners meeting Wednesday if it would be an "erroneous assumption" to believe the Bucs will choose Jameis Winston, pictured, over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or another player, Lovie Smith shook his head. [Getty Images]
  5. Smith says 'not erroneous' to assume Bucs leaning Winston

    Blog

    Coach Lovie Smith confirmed what many have assumed for weeks: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the 'leader' to become the Bucs' No. 1 overall draft  pick.

    But he warned that the process is not over even if they are entering the final stage of evaluation.

    When asked at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday if it would be an "erroneous assumption,' to believe the Bucs will choose Winston over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or another player, Smith shook his head....

    Lovie Smith reiterated his praise for both former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston and former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who have both been to One Buc Place for in-person visits and meetings with top team officials, including the Glazer family.
  6. Glazers sign off on Bucs drafting Winston or Mariota

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — They're okay with Jameis Winston's past. They're confident Marcus Mariota has a bright future.

    The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, has signed off on both quarterbacks who are waiting for a coronation as the team's No. 1 overall pick.

    Despite a 2-14 record in the first season under coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht, co-chairman Joel Glazer has not lost faith in either man to make "one of the most important decisions'' in franchise history....

    Joel Glazer said he trusts Bucs coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Light to make decisions.
  7. Glazers 'comfortable,' with Winston, Mariota as No. 1 pick

    Blog

    They are okay with Jameis Winston's past. They are confident Marcus Mariota has a bright future.

    The Glazer family which owns the Bucs has signed off on both quarterbacks who are waiting for a coronation as the team's No. 1 overall pick.

    But winning still matters, even though over the past few years, Bucs games have been considered more entertainment than competition.

    Despite a 2-14 record in the first season under coach Lovie Smith and general manger Jason Licht, co-chairman Joel Glazer has lost not faith in either man to make ‘one of the most important decisions,' in franchise history....

  8. Marcus Mariota makes favorable impression on Titans

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — Marcus Mariota might not be the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year's draft.

    But Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt says he would put the Oregon Heisman Trophy winner under center immediately if they took him with the No. 2 overall pick.

    "It's been great spending time with him," Whisenhunt said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "I'm very impressed with what he's done with us so far. Obviously, it's hard not to be impressed with what he did in college....

    Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt says he’s impressed by Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
  9. Titans Whisenhunt says Mariota would be starter if taken No. 2

    Blog

    Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt made it clear they are focusing a lot at quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Most of their time has been spent with Oregon's Marcus Mariota.

    If Mariota is their pick, Whisenhunt says he would expect him to start the first game of the 2015 season. But he admits it's too early in the evaluation process to know which direction the Titans will go. Whisenhunt says as many as six players are in the discussion for Tennessee's first round pick....

  10. Analysis: Make a fresh start in NFL, Jameis, show up for the draft

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — Jameis Winston wants to stay home with his family rather than attend the NFL draft in Chicago.

    He's made worse decisions.

    It's not like he put out Chief Osceola's flaming spear with a kitten or went Bo Jackson and told the Bucs he's playing baseball if they pick him. No crabs were even harmed in this announcement.

    Winston just wants to celebrate his entrance into the NFL with some of the people who are the most responsible for it....

    Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston warms up before the national championship game against Auburn in January 2014. Winston plans to watch the NFL draft at home with his family instead of attending in Chicago. [Associated Press]
  11. Bucs say thanks, but no thanks to NFL's No. 1 draft pick

    Bucs

    PHOENIX — Every team would love to have the first overall draft pick. Nobody wants to endure what it typically takes to earn it.

    "We never want it again," GM Jason Licht said Monday at the NFL owners meetings. "I feel privileged, and so does Lovie (Smith), that we are able to make this decision and to set the tone of this franchise hopefully for years to come."

    Has Licht recovered from going 2-14 in his first season with the Bucs? "Never. Never get over that," he said. "I'll never get over it. It'll be a driving force for years to come. I never want to go through that again."...

     Bucs head coach Lovie Smith, left, and General Manager Jason Licht, right, answer questions about the draft at One Buc Place in Tampa Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
  12. Bucs Licht won't get over 2-14, but feels fortunate to have No. 1

    Blog

    It was a nightmare scenario. Coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht took over the Bucs and ran them aground with a 2-14 record in their first season.

    But having the No. 1 overall pick is something many teams can rarely dream of.

    "We never want it again,'' Licht  said Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. "I feel privileged, and so does Lovie, that we are able to make this decision and to set the tone of this franchise hopefully for years to come.''...

  13. Licht: Bucs have no problem with Winston at home for draft

    Blog

    Where quarterback Jameis Winston spends the NFL draft -- he plans to be at home in Alabama with his family -- will have no affect on whether the Bucs select him No. 1 overall.

    General manager Jason Licht, stopping short of saying Winston will go first to begin with, says the Bucs know how to reach him.

    "I don't see what the big deal is,'' Licht said during a break at the NFL owner's meeting in Phoenix. "(Browns tackle) Joe Thomas went fishing (on draft day) and he was a pretty good player....

    Where quarterback Jameis Winston spends the NFL draft -- he plans to be at home in Alabama with his family -- will have no affect on whether the Bucs select him No. 1 overall.
  14. Goodell has no problem with Winston staying home for draft

    Blog

    If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the No. 1 overall pick by the Bucs, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the selection to kick off the draft.

    But Winston may not be in Chicago to shake hands with Goodell, put on a Bucs hat and hold a Tampa Bay jersey.

    That's okay with Goodell.

    Winston related his plans to remain home in Alabama with his family on draft day during his visit with Goodell in New York several weeks ago....

    Jameis Winston may not be in Chicago to shake hands with Goodell, put on a Bucs hat and hold a Tampa Bay jersey.
  15. Bucs decline to sign Greg Hardy

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Gerald McCoy lobbied for him. Certainly, they could use another dominant pass rusher like him. Agent Drew Rosenhaus leveraged one team against another for him. But the Bucs decided Wednesday that Greg Hardy's talent wasn't worth the trouble.

    "At the end of the day, we didn't feel good about it," general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Bay Times.

    Shortly after confirming the Bucs had lost interest in Hardy, the Panthers defensive end signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Cowboys. The deal could be worth up to $13.1 million, which is what he made last season as the Panthers' franchise player....

    Greg Hardy, who spent last season in Carolina, could face a suspension after an assault case.