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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. Slimmed-down Gerald McCoy feels Bucs' playoff urgency

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The clock is ticking a little louder for DT Gerald McCoy, who is in the prime of his career.

    The Bucs star has been to three straight Pro Bowls and enjoyed one winning season but has had no playoff appearances during his five years in the NFL. That's why McCoy said Saturday he feels the urgency to end the Bucs' postseason drought. Tampa Bay's last playoff appearance was 2007....

    Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy reports to training camp 12 pounds lighter than he was in June and with 2 percent less body fat.
  2. Slimmed down McCoy wants to end Bucs playoff drought

    Blog

    The clock is ticking a little louder for Gerald McCoy, who is in the prime of his career. The Bucs defensive tackle has been to three straight Pro Bowls, enjoyed one winning season but has had no playoff appearances during his five years in the NFL.

    That's why McCoy said Saturday he feels the urgency to end the team's post-season drought. Tampa Bay's last playoff appearance was 2007.

    "When I was young, I was allowed to be young...I'm not there anymore,'' said McCoy, 27. "I'm going into my sixth year and I truly believe this team will only go as far as I go. When you have a dominant guy in the middle, it helps everything out around him, which is our defense. You have a great defense, most of these teams that are winning, usually have a great defense. That's another reason why I had to come in in great shape because there's really no more talking that has to be done. I'm going into my sixth year and haven't been in the playoffs. It's like enough is enough. I definitely feel the urgency and it's time to get it done.''...

  3. No surprise, Jameis Winston will start for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — You didn't need to read the horoscopes or tarot cards or use a Magic 8 Ball to predict Jameis Winston would be named the Bucs' starting quarterback.

    Tryouts ended the minute they handed in the card at the draft with Winston's name on it.

    "Jameis Winston will be our starting quarterback," coach Lovie Smith said shortly after players reported to training camp Friday. "He'll take first reps (today). We're excited about that....

    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 28:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 28, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
  4. For Bucs, training camp brings many story lines

    Bucs

    TAMPA

    Training camp for NFL teams usually centers on three things: heat, health and hope. For the Bucs, there is one more: hype.

    For the next three weeks or so, the spotlight will be as bright as the midday sun on quarterback Jameis Winston, this year's No. 1 overall draft pick from Florida State. Every pass will be dissected, every read will be debated.

    Beginning with Saturday's first workout, there should be no mystery about whether Winston is the starting quarterback for 2015. He should get more than his share of repetitions in practice and preseason games with the No. 1 offense....

    Rookie receiver Kenny Bell, who last year made big plays at Nebraska, will push for Bucs playing time as the No. 3 wideout.
  5. Love of football keeps Lavonte David dedicated

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The best outside linebacker in the NFL walked into Ava on Wednesday night wearing a smile, jeans and a gray hoodie. He strolled past the cute couple cuddled in the booth by the window and weaved his way around a flurry of waiters setting up tables. It was his first visit to one of Tampa Bay's most trendy restaurants.

    "I don't go out much, really," Lavonte David said shyly. "But this is a nice place."...

  6. Bucs GM optimistic about Jameis Winston, rest of rookie class

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs are prepared for their 2015 season to be wild and unpredictable — a little like the right arm of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.

    But according to general manager Jason Licht, who hopes Winston's mistakes will be kept to a minimum, the No. 1 pick in the draft has energized the entire organization.

    "I think if you look at the history of all rookie quarterbacks, most of them, a high percentage of them, throw a lot of interceptions," Licht said Tuesday. "I'd be remiss to not say we're not expecting some ups and downs but we're doing everything we can to minimize them as much as possible."...

    Jason Licht
  7. Bucs GM Licht: It's not all on Winston's shoulders

    Blog

    The Bucs are prepared for their 2015 season to be wild and unpredictable – a little like the right arm of rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.

    But according to general manager Jason Licht, who hopes Winston’s mistakes will be kept to a minimum, the No. 1 pick in the draft has energized the entire organization.

    “I think if you look at the history of all rookie quarterbacks, most of them, a high percentage of them, throw a lot of interceptions,’’ Licht said Tuesday. “I’d be remiss to not say we’re not expecting some ups and downs but we’re doing everything we can to minimize them as much as possible.''...

  8. DE DaQuan Bowers re-signs with Bucs for one season

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Da'Quan Bowers will get at least one more chance to show the Bucs, and the NFL, he is worth another look.

    The Bucs re-signed the defensive lineman, who hadn't garnered much attention as a free agent, to a one-year contract Monday, four days before players report to training camp. The deal includes no signing bonus or guaranteed money.

    A second-round pick by the Bucs in 2011 after leading the nation in sacks at Clemson, Bowers hasn't lived up to lofty pre-draft expectations. In four seasons with Tampa Bay he has played in 50 games, including 10 starts, and recorded seven career sacks. For that, Bowers was paid $3.885 million....

    Da’Quan Bowers
  9. Bucs give Da'Quan Bowers another shot

    Blog

    Da'Quan Bowers will get at least one more chance to show the Bucs -- and the NFL -- he is worth another look.

    The Bucs re-signed Bowers, who hadn't garnered much attention as a free agent, to a one-year contract Monday, four days before players report to training camp. The deal includes no signing bonus or guaranteed money.

    A second-round pick by the Bucs in 2011 after leading the nation in sacks at Clemson, Bowers hasn't lived up to lofty pre-draft expectations. In four seasons with the Bucs, he played in 50 games, including 10 starts, and recording a disappointing seven career sacks....

    In four seasons with the Bucs, Da'Quan Bowers played in 50 games, including 10 starts, and recording a disappointing seven career sacks.
  10. Bucs rookie class could be most important in team history

    Bucs

    TAMPA

    Jameis Winston threw an interception during an early offseason practice, failing to fit a football through a keyhole in the defense, and shrugged. "Well, that's just me," Winston said. Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter responded to his rookie quarterback: "Well, it's not going to be you anymore!" Winston is a gunslinger, which evokes both a cowboy swagger and a quick trigger finger but also carries an air of daring and recklessness. The term is a compliment and a curse. But at 6 feet 4 and 230 pounds, Winston also is the Bucs' skyscraper of hope, rising above a flattened franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2007. Much of what the Bucs love about Winston is his flair for the unconventional, but he also is going to be unpredictable. So fasten your swashbuckles, Bucs fans. Winston is going to take you on a wild ride this season. And he won't do it alone....

    Bucs quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian talks with Jameis Winston in one of the QB’s first practices after being drafted.
  11. Bucs made 'no promises,' to Dotson, who will report on time

    Blog

    Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson, who walked out of off-season workouts over a contract dispute, will report to training camp on time next Friday, general manager Jason Licht said Thursday....

  12. Bucs, Lavonte David far apart in contract talks

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Lavonte David is a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine as one of the NFL's best outside linebackers. But he still has a lot of ground to cover in contract talks with the Bucs to wrap up a long-term extension.

    The Bucs and David have a significant gap to bridge in negotiations that could carry past the July 31 deadline for players to report to training camp.

    David, 25, the Bucs' leading tackler the past three seasons, is in the final year of his rookie contract and is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season....

    Lavonte David could miss the July 31 deadline to report to camp.
  13. Bucs, David still finding 'common ground' in contract talks

    Blog

    Lavonte David is a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine as one of the NFL’s best outside linebackers. But he still has a lot of ground to cover in contract talks with the Bucs to wrap up a long-term contract extension.

    The Bucs and David have a significant gap to bridge in negotiations that could carry past the deadline for players to report to training camp July 31.

    The 25-year-old David, the team’s leading tackler the past three seasons, is in the final year of his rookie contract and set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season....

  14. Experts: 'Gunslinger' Winston 4th tier QB...equals bad

    Blog

    The Bucs believe Jameis Winston is a franchise quarterback and took him No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. But 35 people around the league asked by ESPN to rank passers don't think very highly of the Florida State star.

    Winston was rated in the fourth tier of NFL quarterbacks in an annual survey by ESPN's Mike Sando. Perhaps more disturbing is he was ranked 26th ovrerall. That's one spot behind the Titans Marcus Mariota, who was selected second overall in the draft....

    What turns many scouts and analysts off about Jameis Winston was his alarming number of interceptions last season.
  15. Improvements planned for Raymond James Stadium

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The home of the Bucs is preparing for an extreme makeover and Hillsborough County officials hope to finalize an agreement on enhancements at Raymond James Stadium that would include everything from new video scoreboards to seat cushions.

    "We've been in negotiations for weeks back and forth with the Bucs and trying to finalize a deal and we're optimistic a renovation agreement can be reached in the near future," County Commissioner Ken Hagan said Monday....

    SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times (01/27/2009 Tampa, FL ) Aerial of Raymond James Stadium ready for the 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa.