Staff Directory 438148813

Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Ben Goessling covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012, and has previously covered the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.


After graduating from Apple Valley High School, Goessling majored in accounting and journalism at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. He coaches high school track and field and cross country, plays electric guitar and enjoys volunteering at Hope Academy in the Phillips neighborhood.
Recent content from Ben Goessling
Seattle running back Travis Homer (25) is upended by Vikings defender Bene Benwikere, left, during the second half of Sunday's game.

Depth in Vikings defensive backfield being called into question

Heading into the Vikings' final two games of the preseason, the challenge before the team's young defensive backs is this: They must improve on their uneven play.
Vikings running back Mike Boone ran for 45 yards before being stopped by Seahawks’ linebacker Mychal Kendricks during the second quarter Sunday nigh

Vikings top nemesis Seahawks as new offense controls game

The Vikings were on offense for more than two-thirds of the game in the 25-19 victory over Seattle that featured 11 third-down conversions in 18 tries. "I thought we moved the ball well," coach Mike Zimmer said.
Neither Kirk Cousins, above, nor any other Vikings quarterback was sacked in the preseason opener in New Orleans last week.

Vikings offensive line shows progress, but it's too early to tell

Kirk Cousins says improvement can't be judged yet at this point of the preseason.
After getting only three starts in both 2016 and 2017, Anthony Harris stepped in for an injured Andrew Sendejo last season and solidified one safety s

Harris joins Harrison: Vikings finally get some stability at safety

In his fifth season with the Vikings, Anthony Harris will join the starting line-up, teaming up with All-Pro safety Harrison Smith in the secondary.
Dan Bailey tried a field goal on Tuesday at Vikings training camp after Austin Cutting (58) snapped the ball to holder Chad Beebe. Bailey was 7-for-7

Bailey? Vedvik? Wile? Vikings still have no clarity in kicking game

Coach Mike Zimmer said he plans to take a look at all three players in the Vikings' second preseason game against Seattle on Sunday.
Kaare Vedvik showed off his punting skills on his first day with the Vikings. He might end up with that job, or he might end up being their placekicke

Kicker? Punter? Answer to a problem? Vedvik joins the Vikings

Trading for Kaare Vedvik leaves the Vikings with another round of decisions to make about their specialists — long an enigma on the roster — as the preseason plays out.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins attempted a pass in the first quarter.

Cousins showed some spring in his step in preseason opener

In his nine plays in Friday night's 34-25 preseason victory over the Saints, quarterback Kirk Cousins provided a taste of what he hopes to do this season.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen caught a 35-yard pass while being defended by Eli Apple in the first quarter.

New-look Vikings open preseason with 'efficient' victory over Saints

The Vikings covered 76 yards in eight plays with the first-team offense, with a 34-yard Kirk Cousins-to-Adam Thielen connection providing the early highlight of Friday night's preseason opener in New Orleans.
Linval Joseph (98)

Stephen, Joseph, O'Neill sit in Vikings exhibition opener at Saints

Defensive tackles Shamar Stephen and Linval Joseph, as well as offensive tackle Brian O'Neill, were among nine players who did not dress for the Vikings' opening preseason game.
Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander (20) had a few heart-to-heart talks with coach Mike Zimmer about what it would take to see the field before he

After dubious early years, Vikings' Alexander matures into reliable CB

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer explained to Mackensie Alexander in 2016 that there were two paths to take. The cornerback, eventually, took the correct one.
Bene' Benwikere started eight games with Arizona in 2018 before being released and landing with Oakland at the end of the season.

Vikings sign veteran cornerback Benwikere

Bene' Benwikere's arrival extends a seemingly annual tradition of acquiring a veteran for the secondary late in the offseason
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has not been impressed with the defense through one week of training camp.

Zimmer ends first week of Vikings workouts by challenging defense

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called the team's defense complacent, lacking in grit equal to the offense. He added that players they better regain their competitive swagger in practice.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph reached out to catch a pass during practice on Friday.

That other receiver: Cousins wants to make better use of Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph stood out in Wednesday's practice with several contested catches that had quarterback Kirk Cousins saying he needs to trust the tight end more.
Vikings defensive players ran drills during training camp.

Young Vikings defensive linemen aren't quite ready, but they're willing

Injuries to starters have forced players such as tackles Jaleel Johnson and Hercules Mata'afa to take extra snaps, which can be both an invaluable and humbling experience.
Dillon Mitchell (17) is a speedy option as the Vikings search for a capable No. 3 option at wide receiver at training camp.

Options for No. 3 Vikings receiver abound; Zimmer offers critical review

Coach Mike Zimmer gave a pointed review of how the candidates to be the team's third receiver have done during the first few days of training camp.
Vikings fans did the Skol chant during last summer's training camp in Eagan.

Hot summer ticket: Vikings close to selling out training camp

Only reserved seats remain for the first three open practices this weekend as well as the night practice in on Aug. 3. Overall, nearly 72,000 of 80,000 available tickets for the 16 open sessions are sold.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins took snaps behind a line of rookies as the Vikings opened camp Tuesday in Eagan.

Subdued Vikings open camp, trying to forget 2018 failure

If the Vikings' window to win with their largely homegrown collection of talent isn't closing, it's unlikely to get any wider. The 2019 training camp, then, is about moving on from the letdown of 2018.
Kevin Stefanski took over as Vikings offensive coordinator during last season.

'Have you done this before?' Stefanski thrilled having veteran Kubiak on staff

Shortly after Kevin Stefanski filled out his first staff as the Vikings' permanent offensive coordinator, one of his first moves was to give away a piece of his newly acquired influence.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watched his team work out during minicamp in June.

Ten questions: Zimmer on what's different as Vikings camp opens

The offense is bring overhauled, the defense will continue working on new schemes. Coach Mike Zimmer sat down for a Q&A session about what needs to be done to return the Vikings to the playoffs.
Vikings fans will be able to cheer for an e-sports team.

Call of Duty e-sports league will have Vikings entrant

WISE Ventures will field a team in the Activision Blizzard group.
Fans watched the Vikings stretch before a training camp practice last season.

Vikings set training camp schedule; new rules for access and autographs

Ahead of their second training camp at their practice facility in Eagan, the Vikings announced several changes in how the sessions will be run in July and August.
Minnesota Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak watches quarterbacks during drills at the team's NFL football training facili

Another makeover: Vikings have much to work on in revamped offense

As players departed the team's practice facility in after the conclusion of Minnesota's mandatory minicamp, it was clear the offense has work to do.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, center, watched Kyle Rudolph look a ball into his hands at minicamp.

Steve Jordan carved out a spot in Vikings history

During his first training camp with the Vikings in 1982 as a seventh-round tight end out of Brown, Steve Jordan found himself lined up…
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph stood with cornerback Xavier Rhodes during Tuesday's mandatory minicamp.

'I'm here': Vikings tight end Rudolph pleased to stay in purple

With no fully guaranteed money in the deal beyond this season, however, there remains the possibility the Vikings could still decide to move on from Kyle Rudolph after 2019.
Kyle Rudolph's contract extension includes a guarantee of $9 million for this season.

'Our home will always be . . . Minnesota.' Rudolph gets Vikings contract extension

The added four years are worth $36 million, according to an NFL source, and tight end Kyle Rudolph will make $9 million in 2019, which is fully guaranteed.
Wide receiver Bisi Johnson (81) during the Vikings rookie minicamp on May 3.

Vikings see promise in young receivers, including rookie

The team is seeking to build depth behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. One of the possibilities is Colorado State draft choice Bisi Johnson.
Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' career leading rusher, spoke to reporters in McLean, Va., at Redskins minicamp Tuesday. He was back in Minnesota conduct

Adrian Peterson makes it clear: 'I'll definitely be retiring a Viking'

As Peterson tossed footballs to campers Sunday in Hopkins, he seemed at peace with his relationship to the state where he achieved his greatest NFL moments to date.
The Big Ten will name Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren the conference's next commissioner to replace Jim Delany, an NFL source confirmed M

Big Ten to name Vikings' chief operating officer Kevin Warren commissioner

Kevin Warren played a key role in the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium and the Vikings' training complex in Eagan. The official announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. today.
Kyle Rudolph participated in a Vikings OTA on Wednesday.

Rudolph still hopes deal with Vikings can be reached

The Vikings, as part of a new deal, could easily lower Kyle Rudolph's 2019 salary cap number by taking a similar approach to the one they used with Eric Kendricks last week.
Roc Thomas signed autographs after a preseason game in Denver on Aug. 11, 2018.

Vikings' Thomas pleads guilty to marijuana charge, gets probation

It remains to be seen if running back Roc Thomas will face additional discipline from the NFL as the result of his guilty plea.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman

Vikings next puzzle: Clear salary cap space to sign rookies

A move affecting veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph's status might be among the more obvious possibilities for the Vikings, but it's certainly not the only one.
Eli Apple (25) was called for pass interference while defending Laquon Treadwell during a game last October.

Disappointing Treadwell to become free agent after 2019 season

Laquon Treadwell set career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season, but he was phased out of the offense under coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. was tackled by Clemson's K'Von Wallace during the national championship game in January. The Vikings used a second-rou

Five questions facing the Vikings following the NFL draft

The Vikings will likely ask several members of the class to play big roles quickly, especially on the offensive line.
Vikings first-round pick Garrett Bradbury held his jersey with, from left, owner Zigi Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman, head coach Mike Zimmer, and

Vikings' draft decisions dominated by offensive focus

For the first time since 1965, the Vikings used their first four picks on offensive players. "That's where we needed the help," GM Rick Spielman said. They didn't select a defender until the fifth round
Garrett Bradbury

New Vikings center Bradbury 'can be a little ornery'

Time will tell how long a partnership the Vikings will have with their newest offensive lineman. But in the initial stages of the relationship, Bradbury appeared to be right at home.
A Vikings fan stood near the main stage ahead of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft Friday in Nashville, Tenn.

Four trades mean Vikings will start today with nine more picks

Vikings GM Rick Spielman was eager to accumulate picks Friday, even if coach Mike Zimmer was not.
North Carolina State's Garrett Bradbury (65)

Vikings fill big need by drafting center Bradbury

Six-foot-3, 305-pound offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury of North Carolina State was an All-America last season and won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's outstanding center.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman

Vikings seeking quick fixes in draft

Vikings GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer had their contracts extended recently through the 2020 season. But one or both could be on the hot seat if the team doesn't return to the playoffs this year.
From A to O-line: Spielman plots course for Vikings' biggest draft need

From A to O-line: Spielman plots course for Vikings' biggest draft need

This year's deep NFL draft gives the Vikings more than one chance to address its biggest needs. The Vikings have invested a lot of time scouting the offensive line.
The stage was set for the 2018 NFL Draft in Texas

Who ya got? Possible Vikings first-round picks

A look at seven players who might be available for the Vikings to select on Thursday night.
The Vikings open their 2019 schedule at home vs. Atlanta and will play two prime time games there, including the Packers in December.

Vikings schedule breakdown: Five prime time games await in 2019

The Vikings will have prime time games against Dallas, Washington, Seattle, the Los Angeles Chargers and Green Bay during the 2019 season.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen stretched before practice on Tuesday.

Thielen's view: 'Money is good ... but championships are what it's about'

Adam Thielen took a deal that might have been bigger in a year, casting his lot with a Vikings team that first bet on him in 2013. "I don't know if there has ever been a success story like Adam Thielen," GM Rick Spielman said.
Adam Thielen’s new contract is a cap-friendly deal for the Vikings.

Thielen's big contract does little harm to Vikings' salary cap. Here's why

Despite the nice raise, Adam Thielen's new contract only delivered a $5,000 hit to the 2019 salary cap.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen

Thielen agrees to four-year, $64 million extension with Vikings

Adam Thielen's new deal could be worth up to $73 million — and keeps the receiver in Minnesota through the 2024 season while resolving questions about his immediate future.
Virginia free-throw perfection carries overtime

Virginia free-throw perfection carries overtime

Starting with Kyle Guy's last three on Saturday night and continuing through Monday's game, the Cavaliers made 23 of their final 26 free throws in the tournament.
Michigan State football alum Kirk Cousins waved during a game between Michigan State and Texas Tech during the first half.

Cousins gets some big-screen time at Final Four

A day after addressing his favorite college basketball team, Michigan State grad Cousins was a VIP in a familiar stadium.
Playing typical Texas Tech defense, center Norense Odiase tried to steal the ball from Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman. in the first half.

Texas Tech proved even tougher than Spartans expected

The Red Raiders held the Spartans to 31.9 percent shooting overall.
Unlike Super Bowl, Rudolph taking in as much of Final Four week as he can

Unlike Super Bowl, Rudolph taking in as much of Final Four week as he can

Vikings star shunned his hometown Super Bowl, but not Final Four festivities
SE Louisiana State's Marlain Veal hugged the rim after dunking Thursday night.

Massive dunks, three-point sharpshooters light up Target Center

A human slingshot slam, an undefeated champion who makes up dunks as he goes along and a sharpshooter who hit 14 threes in a row were highlights for a thrilled crowd.
Rick Spielman, who had the one-year option on his contract picked up, spoke during last year’s draft.

Vikings add year to GM Spielman's contract

Like coach Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman's deal will run through the 2020 season.
Dan Bailey booted a 39-yard field goal in New England on Dec. 2.

Vikings kicker Bailey ready to go the distance

Dan Bailey, who resigned for $1 million this week, said he had a kicking consultant during his first two NFL seasons with Dallas and wasn't opposed to the idea of the Vikings adding one this year.
Josh Kline

Cut by Titans, Josh Kline ready for new start with Vikings

Ex-Titans lineman Josh Kline plans to help and be helped.
Dan Bailey, 31, agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal to return to the Vikings after signing a $2 million deal midseason last year.

Vikings re-sign kicker Bailey to one-year deal

His deal includes just $250,000 of guaranteed money, meaning the Vikings could make a kicker switch with few financial ramifications.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in In

With initial wave of offseason moves done, what's next for Vikings?

They paid big to maintain the defense but ignored big issues of the offense.
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen

Right on time: Vikings, Griffen reach last-minute deal to restructure

The move keeps Everson Griffen with the Vikings in 2019 and frees up salary cap space.
Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen holds the key to free agency for Vikings

The Vikings still don't know whether defensive end Everson Griffen will accept their offer for a restructured deal that should reduce his $11.75 million cap number for 2019.
Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr

Late-night phone call led to Barr's decision to spurn Jets, stay with Vikings

"It's been a crazy couple days, but I'm where I want to be," Anthony Barr wrote on his Instagram page. "I believe in our locker room. I love my guys! Back to work!"
Anthony Barr

Report: Barr bolting to Jets as Vikings start shaking up roster

Linebacker Anthony Barr reportedly agreed to a deal with the New York Jets, where he'd likely get a chance to work primarily as a pass rusher.
If linebacker Anthony Barr (55) leaves via free agency, the Vikings will have to decide whether they can turn to Eric Wilson to replace him full-time

Vikings say they have 'big plans' for Treadwell as they prepare for NFL free agency

The Vikings find themselves facing a pressing set of tasks, and an unusual set of financial constraints within which to accomplish them.
Mike Zimmer, speaking Thursday, said he reminded GM Rick Spielman how important the defense had been to the Vikings’ success before Kirk Cousins’

Vikings entering crunch time for salary cap

The Vikings are projected to have around $5 million in salary cap space to start the 2019 league year, putting it among the NFL clubs with the least money to spend once free agency starts March 11.
Ohio State offensive lineman Michael Jordan worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.

Will Vikings take an offensive lineman in first round of draft?

After missing the playoffs, partly because of offensive issues, the team seeks to improve on the line.
Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson dropped his head after missing a 35-yard field goal attempt in overtime at Green Bay. He was released the next day, and

Still bothered by the past, Zimmer ponders hiring a kicking coach

Field goal tries missed by Daniel Carlson and Blair Walsh "affected the organization."
Rick Dennison

Vikings add offensive assistant, special teams coordinator to staff

The Vikings left little doubt about what their identity will be in 2019, assembling a group of longtime West Coast offensive minds.
Kevin Stefanski met with the media Friday morning.

Vikings offensive coordinator Stefanski will 'pull everything apart'

He gets the chance to put his stamp on the Vikings offense after having his interim tag removed.
Mike Priefer

Mike Priefer leaves Vikings to be Browns special teams coordinator

Priefer's contract expired on Tuesday, and he decided to start anew in Cleveland. Issues with kickers and punters proved to be an ongoing problem
Kevin Stefanski

Stefanski has second interview for Browns head coaching job

Sources told the Star Tribune the Browns have asked Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski what his staff would look like if he was hired by Cleveland.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked about retirement at his season-ending press conference Thursday. His response: “I can’t believe someone threw

Vikings coach Zimmer vows to restore 'nasty' mentality

Mike Zimmer's offseason to-do list after 2018 sounds fairly similar to the one that faced him after 2016: He must make a decision on an offensive coordinator, and figure out how to help his team re-establish its footing.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen talked to reporters as players cleaned out their lockers Monday.

Support in exit poll: Vikings players stand behind Mike Zimmer

Both the Vikings coach and GM Rick Spielman have contracts that expire after next season.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs felt the pain sinking in Sunday after the Vikings — a team harboring Super Bowl dreams entering the season — missed the

Done with a dud: Playoff hopes end with lopsided loss to Bears

With a chance for 'win and in,' the Vikings trailed the Bears all game Sunday and were dominated by the NFC North champions. A season after reaching the NFC championship game, there will be no playoffs.
The Vikings’ Kirk Cousins, shown being pressured by Arizona, ranks among the NFL’s best quarterbacks in completion percentage, TD passes and passe

Vikings signed Cousins to win big games — like the next one

He faces the Bears on Sunday with a wild-card berth at stake for Vikings.
The last man not standing was Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, and that made snagging a 44-yard Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half in Det

Beating Lions sets up showdown game for final wild-card spot

Beating Detroit 27-9 while Philadelphia won its game on the final play means that next Sunday's games, which were moved to late afternoon starts, will determine whether the Vikings, who face the Bears, or the Eagles get the final wild-card spot in the NFC.
Adam Thielen (19) and Latavius Murray (25) carried flags into the stadium before the Vikings' game vs. the Lions on Nov. 4.

Vikings players find their voice on social justice issues

Management and players have worked together to address the complex social justice issues that affect their lives.
The Vikings roughed up Matthew Stafford with 10 sacks on Nov. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Getting to Stafford also would be a boon Sunday at Detroit.

Will the Vikings take care of business against a Lions team in upset mode?

Facing a Lions team resigned to another non-playoff season after six losses in eight games, the Vikings have every reason to take care of business on Sunday and keep themselves in strong playoff position.
Danielle Hunter celebrated a sack on Sunday against Miami.

Hunter leads Vikings' group of four with first Pro Bowl honor

Danielle Hunter was one of four Vikings named to the 2018 NFC team, joining linebacker Anthony Barr, safety Harrison Smith and wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Anthony Barr sacked Ryan Tannehill in the third quarter Sunday.

Three takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over Miami

A look at the Vikings hurrying up, Anthony Barr and the offensive line.
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