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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. Jameis Winston's scolding of offensive linemen was a strong leadership moment

    Blog

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs" preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: ‘I got your back.’

    Then he proved it.

    After being told backup quarterback Ryan Griffin had suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder, ending his battle for the No. 2 quarterback job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston spotted two backup offensive linemen yucking it up on the bench....

  2. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong leadership moment

    Blog

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs" preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: ‘I got your back.’...

  3. Brent Grimes' injury opens playing time for prospects

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — With starting CB Brent Grimes out with a right leg laceration, this week is a great time for the Bucs to take a look at some developing talent at that position.

    Second-year pro Ryan Smith, who is at converted safety, has benefitted by Grimes injury and is getting many reps with the first-team defense.

    "I think Ryan is very talented," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "He needs reps. He's getting a lot with Grimes not practicing, it's giving him an opportunity to get a lot of reps and they're going to be great learning moments for him in very competitive situations. This isn't a situation like when we practice against ourselves. You have to re-route receivers and there are different situations and he's learning. It's a learning curve for him. He hasn't really played a (regular-season) snap (at cornerback). Last week was his first time (in preseason), and he's going to get extended time this week."...

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Freddie Martino (16) and cornerback Ryan Smith (29) compete for a tipped pass that fell incomplete during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Tempers flare as Bucs and Jaguars show some fight

    Bucs

    Went to a fight and a football practice broke out.

    The Bucs and Jaguars practiced for a second straight day in advance of their Thursday night preseason game. But on Tuesday, it got pretty chippy.

    First, Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith and Jags defensive end Yannick Ngakoue got into a heated discussion during a pass rush drill. Smith shove Ngakoue, who countered by hitting him in the facemask. Then centers Joe Hawley and Ali Marpet joined in, with Hawley losing his helmet....

    Tampa Bays Buccaneers Maurice Fleming (30) is grabbed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Jamal Robinson during a joint NFL football practice, Tuesday n Jacksonville. [Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP]
  5. Tempers flare as Bucs and Jaguars show some fight

    Blog

    Went to a fight and a football practice broke out....

  6. Bucs turn page (quickly) to Nick Folk

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Dirk Koetter beamed like a new father, ready to pass out cigars.

    "Our new kicker is Nick Folk," Koetter said after the Bucs' joint workout with the Jaguars on Monday. "I saw him make five out of six (field goals) today."

    Indeed, Bucs' Folk-lore will show that during the first practice without Roberto Aguayo, the kicking game was in good feet.

    In fact, that might have been the highlight for the team's offense, which struggled most of the hot and humid afternoon. Receivers dropped passes. Others were deflected and intercepted. Protection broke down. ...

    Nick Folk (2) kicks during the third day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  7. Bucs cut beleaguered kicker Roberto Aguayo

    Bucs

    Unafraid to admit their mistake, the Bucs have released beleaguered place-kicker Roberto Aguayo just a little over a year after taking him in the second round.

    Aguayo, whose 71 percent field goal percentage was the worst in the NFL as a rookie, likely sealed his fate by missing and extra point and a 47-yard field goal attempt in Friday's preseason loss at Cincinnati. Those misses came after he connected on his first kick, a 20-yard field goal to five the Bucs a 3-0 lead....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks a field goal from the hold of Bryan Anger (9) during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Cincinnati.
  8. What will Bucs do at backup quarterback with Griffin hurt?

    Bucs

    Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin was forced to leave Friday's 23-12 preseason loss to the Bengals early in the fourth quarter when he injured his right throwing shoulder after being hit attempting to complete a pass to receiver Freddie Martino. Griffin is undergoing further evaluations today. It's unknown whether it will force him to miss playing time.

    For Griffin, who enters his third season with a real chance to become the Bucs' No. 2 quarterback behind Jameis Winston, the timing couldn't be worse. Griffin has thrown the football very accurately in training camp and may have had a slight edge over Jets free agent veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick entering Friday's game. Alternating every series with Fitzpatrick after Winston left the game early in the second quarter, Griffin completed 4-of-9 passes for 57 yards but failed to produce any points prior to his injury....

    CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Ryan Griffin #4 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter of a preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  9. Bucs release kicker Roberto Aguayo

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs shrunk the goal posts for Roberto Aguayo. Before he ever worked a day in the NFL, they hired Lucy to hold for Charlie Brown.

    Good grief.

    The Bucs released Aguayo on Saturday morning, a few hours after he missed two kicks in a preseason loss at Cincinnati.

    "We saw what that movie was like last year," coach Dirk Koetter said. "We're just not going to go that direction anymore."...

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kickers Roberto Aguayo (19) and Nick Folk (2) are seen during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017.
  10. Bucs cut beleaguered kicker Roberto Aguayo

    Blog

    Unafraid to admit their mistake, the Bucs have released beleaguered place-kicker Roberto Aguayo just a little over a year after taking him in the second round.

    Aguayo, whose 71 percent field goal percentage was the worst in the NFL as a rookie, likely sealed his fate by missing and extra point and a 47-yard field goal attempt in Friday's preseason loss at Cincinnati. Those misses came after he connected on his first kick, a 20-yard field goal to five the Bucs a 3-0 lead....

    Roberto Aguayo, left, has been cut after two misses in Friday's preseason opener, leaving Nick Folk, right, as the Bucs' only kicker moving forward for the 2017 season.
  11. What will Bucs do at backup quarterback with Griffin hurt?

    Blog

    Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin was forced to leave Friday’s 23-12 preseason loss to the Bengals early in the fourth quarter when he injured his right throwing shoulder after being hit attempting to complete a pass to receiver Freddie Martino. Griffin is undergoing further evaluations today. It’s unknown whether it will force him to miss playing time.

    For Griffin, who enters his third season with a real chance to become the Bucs’ No. 2 quarterback behind Jameis Winston, the timing couldn’t be worse. Griffin has thrown the football very accurately in training camp and may have had a slight edge over Jets free agent veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick entering Friday’s game. Alternating every series with Fitzpatrick after Winston left the game early in the second quarter, Griffin completed 4-of-9 passes for 57 yards but failed to produce any points prior to his injury....

  12. Did Robert Aguayo just kick his way out of a job?

    Blog

    Roberto Aguayo's misses on Friday night against the Bengals means he could have one wayward foot out of the Bucs door.

    Aguayo connected on a 20-yard field goal attempt in Friday’s 23-12 loss to the Bengals. Then he clanged an extra point off the right upright and missed a 47-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter wide right.

    Meanwhile, Jets veteran free agent Nick Folk made a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter, which is two yards longer than the longest FG by Aguayo as a rookie....

  13. Bucs backup QB Ryan Griffin injured, Aguayo struggles in loss

    Bucs

    CINCINNATI — Bucs QB Ryan Griffin waited two years for a chance to become the No. 2 quarterback.

    After Friday's loss to the Bengals, he may have to wait longer.

    Griffin suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter when he was hit by Bengals DE Chris Smith. It's unknown how serious the injury is, but he did not return to the game.

    Meanwhile, free agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for a touchdown and also led the Bucs to a field goal....

    Ryan Griffin, pictured during training camp, suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  14. Jameis Winston sets steady course in Bucs' preseason opener vs. Bengals

    Bucs

    CINCINNATI — Jameis Winston always plays with enough fire to light the Bucs. But he has been burned by it, too.

    That's why the gunslinger quarterback sat in coach Dirk Koetter's office at the start of training camp and asked, "How much is doing too much?"

    Winston discovered some answers in Friday's 23-12 preseason-opening loss to the Bengals. He was patient. He was surgical. He spread the ball around. He drove it downfield when he had time. He checked it to his running backs and tight ends when he did not....

    Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, right, makes an interception in front of Bengals receiver Brandon LaFell in the first half.
  15. Bucs-Bengals: Defining the Doug Martin dilemma

    Bucs

    CINCINNATI — When it comes to the running back position in the preseason, the Bucs have two opposing goals. They want to be productive and protective, starting tonight against the Bengals.

    Doug Martin still is the best ball carrier on the roster, but after the preseason, he has to leave One Buc Place to serve a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs the ball during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times