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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.



Blog: Bucs Beat

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

  1. Bucs Jameis Winston carrying a historically heavy workload


    Jameis Winston has been shouldering a heavy workload on his right shoulder. Historically heavy.

    Since 1960, among first and second-year quarterbacks, only Drew Bledsoe (143 attempts) has thrown more than Winston's 142 passes in the first three games of the season.

    "My job is just to do whatever coach Koetter asks me to do,'' Winston said. "Obviously, the way the games of been playing out, we have had to be in more paasing sitiutions. I just do what I'm coached to do. Go out there and try to get wins.''...

    Jameis Winston has thrown 142 passes in the first three games of the season.
  2. Former Bucs TE Seferian-Jenkins picked up by Jets


    TAMPA — TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, waived by the Bucs on Friday after his arrest on a DUI charge, was claimed by the Jets on Monday.

    Seferian-Jenkins, a former second-round draft pick who caught a 30-yard touchdown in the Bucs' season opener, didn't have to wait long for a second chance after he was pulled over at 3:42 a.m. Friday. He faces the misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, as well as a misdemeanor charge relating to court provision requiring him to have an Interlock Ignition Device on any car he drives as a result of a 2013 DUI arrest in Washington....

    Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins hauls in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston last season against the Titans.
  3. Dirk Koetter restates need for winning culture with Bucs


    TAMPA — The sun was shining and the breeze was strong enough Monday to unfurl the oversized Buccaneers flag outside the team's training facility, one day after a 37-32 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. It was pleasant enough to blunt any sense of urgency.

    Perhaps that's why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter talked to his players about changing the team's culture after a 1-2 start and five straight losing seasons....

    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, center, said, “We’re just missing something … I feel like sometimes we find too many ways to lose a game instead of creating ways to win a game.”
  4. Bucs blow 10-point lead, lose to Rams 37-32 in home opener


    TAMPA — Sixty-nine minutes. That's how long the Bucs and coach Dirk Koetter had to talk about what proved to be a great chance for a winning drive. Sixty-nine minutes during a weather delay.

    All that time, but somehow, they mismanaged the clock.

    Trailing the Rams 37-32, the game ended Sunday on second down when Jameis Winston was tackled from behind by defensive end Robert Quinn at the Los Angeles 5-yard line as the Bucs quarterback more or less tiptoed toward the end zone, pump-faking a pass that had become illegal to throw....

    QB Jameis Winston (3) has the ball knocked loose from his right hand as he goes back to pass in the fourth quarter. Rams tackle Ethan Westbrooks grabs it and runs it in for a 77-yard touchdown.
  5. How to fix Jameis Winston


    TAMPA — One week, you love Jameis Winston. Admit it. He throws perfect arcing passes that hit two receivers in their hands in the end zone. You praise him. The Bucs beat the Falcons, on the road, in the season opener.

    The next week, you doubt him. Maybe even ridicule him. Four interceptions. A lost fumble for good measure. Sprays passes like a dancing garden hose. In a 40-7 loss at Arizona, Winston had the lowest passer rating in the league....

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) greets Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 40-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AZMY163
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers' fate hinges on fixing the defense


    TAMPA — They are called explosives, those big-bang plays that detonate and destroy the game.

    The NFL defines them as runs of 10 yards or more and passes of 20-plus yards.

    The Bucs already have given up 13 in two games.

    In fact, the Bucs have yielded three pass plays of more than 50 yards — fifty! — or as many as in all of 2015.

    "We've had 12 plays that have gone for over 400 yards" combined, defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "Sometimes they're missed tackles, sometimes they're missed assignments and sometimes they're bad calls by me. So we've got to get better. We've got to tackle better, we've got to execute better and I've got to make better calls."...

    Wide receiver Jaron Brown #13 of the Arizona Cardinals slips past safety Chris Conte #23 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Arizona Cardinals won 40-7. [Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images]
  7. Bucs release tight end Seferian-Jenkins after DUI arrest (w/ video)


    TAMPA — Austin Seferian-Jenkins was about to be let off with a warning after a traffic stop early Friday on Interstate 275 before the tight end started rambling about scoring touchdowns and handing the football to police officers.

    That's when a Florida Highway Patrol officer smelled alcohol and began conducting a field sobriety test.

    "I just want to go home to my quarterback's house for a meeting," Seferian-Jenkins is heard saying on a dash cam video. "We'll watch American Horror Stories, Episode 2."...

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a 2014 draft pick, got one of the last roster spots out of camp.
  8. Bucs to cut ties with Seferian-Jenkins following DUI arrest


    The Bucs have informed tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins of their plans to release him followiing his arrest for misdemeanor driving under the influence in Tampa early Friday morning.

    Seferian-Jenkins, 23, a co-starter and second-round pick from Washington in 2014,  will be subject to the waiver claim system once he is officially released.

    A few hours after posting $750 bond, Seferian-Jenkins tweeted "Thank you TB, next chapter.'...

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins steps into a waiting car after posting bail Friday morning after his DUI arrest.
  9. Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins arrested on DUI charge (w/video)


    Two days before the Bucs' home opener, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was arrested early Friday morning and was charged with two misdemeanor counts, including driving under the influence.

    Seferian-Jenkins, 23, was stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol at 3:42 a.m. Friday and was booked at the Orient Road Jail at 6:24 a.m., charged with misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and violating a court-ordered Ignition Interlock Device restriction from a previous arrest for DUI in Washington in 2013....

    Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was arrested early Friday morning and charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.
  10. Koetter: Bucs gathering details of Seferian-Jenkins DUI arrest


    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was in a meeting with players and coaches Friday when he learned that tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was in a holding cell at the Orient Road Jail following his arrest around 4 a.m. this morning with on misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

    Following practice, Koetter said the team still was gathering information and that he planned to meet later today with general manager Jason Licht about the incident....

  11. Early lack of Jackson-Winston chemistry puzzles Bucs


    TAMPA — Vincent Jackson does not sound like he is ready for the old-timers game. He hasn't had to learn how to get open with a walker. He doesn't cash his payroll and pension checks on the same day.

    Sure, the Bucs' 33-year-old receiver is off to a slow start. Jackson has been targeted 16 times this season and has only six catches for 62 yards. He caught two passes for 18 yards in the Bucs' 31-24 win at Atlanta on Sept. 11 and ran a wrong route, resulting in an interception of Jameis Winston. In Sunday's 40-7 loss at Arizona, Jackson caught four passes for 44 yards....

    Vincent Jackson, above, has had chemistry issues with quarterback Jameis Winston in the season’s first two games.
  12. Bucs Vincent Jackson: 'I still feel I'm playing at a very high level'


    Embattled Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson has a message for anyone who believes that at age 33 and in his 12th NFL season, he is slowing down:

    “Come out and watch practice,'' Jackson said Thursday. "What you see on Sunday sometimes doesn’t always translate to what’s reality, you know what I mean? I feel great. I still feel like I’m playing at a very high level. Our coaches have all the confidence in me, obviously, my teammates do as well. So for me, it’s just continue to do my job. I don’t have to try and do too much or press or anything extraordinary. I trust my training, I know I can make plays and when those opportunities come – I hope more come my way – but I’m just going to continue to do my job.''...

    Vincent Jackson has been targeted 16 times this season and has only six catches for 62 yards.
  13. 5 things to know about Jacquizz Rodgers


    1. In Rodgers' sophomore season at Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas, he rushed for 34 touchdowns and averaged 9.4 yards per carry. In his junior season, he improved with 2,592 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns. As a senior, Rodgers led the Mustangs to the 2007 4A Division 1 state football championship. In the title game, Rodgers rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries, blocked a PAT, recovered a fumble and had six tackles on defense as the Mustangs beat Robert Griffin III-led Cooper Cove, 20-14....

    TAMPA, FL -  NOVEMBER 17:  Runnng back Jacquizz Rodgers #32 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up for play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Tampa won 41- 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
  14. It's clear Bucs face dropoff from Doug Martin to Charles Sims


    TAMPA — Doug Martin is not expected to play football this week. Or next week. Or perhaps the week after that.

    The Bucs' $7.15 million running back, the NFL's second-leading rusher last season, is hurt again, which seems to happen to Martin every even-numbered year. How odd.

    The hamstring injury he suffered in the first quarter of the Bucs' 40-7 loss at Arizona, according to the NFL Network, could force Martin to miss the next three games — Sunday's home opener against the Rams then home against the Super Bowl champion Broncos Oct. 2 and at Carolina for Monday night football Oct. 10....

    Charles Sims, muscling into the end zone in the opener, has averaged less than seven carries a game in his career.
  15. With Martin out, Bucs will turn to Charles Sims as lead back


    Charles Sims has averaged less than seven carries per game during his NFL career, but that workload will increase with starting running back Doug Martin expected to miss the next three games with a hamstring injury.

    “Chuck’s been here long enough and has earned the opportunity to be the lead back,’’ said Bucs offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken. “And we expect him to play well, as we do (Jacquizz Rodgers)....

    Charles Sims has been used mostly as a change of pace back and on third down, where he excels as a receiver.