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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
Defensive end Danielle Hunter and the rest of the Vikings defense have been improving in shutting down opposing offenses on third down.

Third-down devils: Vikings defense recapturing 2017's sizzle

From the end of the Eagles game to the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Jets, the Vikings stopped opponents on 20 consecutive third-down attempts.
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles

Bowles has lengthy shared history with Zimmer, Vikings staff

Jets coach Todd Bowles coached with Mike Zimmer in Dallas, and was the only other finalist for the Vikings job in early 2014 whose name became known
Quarterback Kirk Cousins did his homework after he became a free agent and decided on the Vikings.

Jilted Jets preparing rude welcome for 'classless Kirk Cousins'

After the Vikings signed Cousins for less than the Jets offered, some reports suggested the New York team felt used in the quarterback's free-agency negotiations.
Viking cornerback Mike Hughes was attended to Sunday after injuring his knee against the Cardinals.

Vikings fears confirmed: Hughes lost for the season

Rookie cornerback Mike Hughes will be lost for the remainder of the season because of a torn knee ligament suffered Sunday against Arizona.
That wasn’t double coverage Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was throwing into. It was two defensive linemen, and it led to a batted pass Sunday.
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Kirk Cousins must beware of linemen with hands up

Though he still completed 70.5 percent of his passes on Sunday, Kirk Cousins' day against the Cardinals — during which he went 24-for-34 for 233…
Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) broke for a 34 yard run in the third quarter that set up a touchdown by quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Running with a purpose, Vikings blitz Cardinals behind Murray

The Vikings overcame seven tipped passes and the likelihood that their first-round draft pick will be lost for the season by relying on a previously absent running game and stout defense.
This may be the last game in Minneapolis for future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald, left, but NFL life is just beginning for Josh Rosen.

Vikings-Arizona preview: A repeat of Week 3? Not likely

If the Cardinals can win, it would be the franchise's first victory in Minnesota since 1977, when they were in St. Louis and the Vikings were at Met Stadium.
David Johnson and Dalvin Cook

Cook and Cardinals star at a rushing crossroads in their careers

Vikings Insider: A couple of years before the Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook, they brought in David Johnson for a pre-draft look following his college career at Northern Iowa.
Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly (91), inheriting a starting role while Everson Griffen addresses some mental health issues, forced the fumble

Getting a chance, Weatherly comes through for depleted defensive line

While Everson Griffen remains away from the team dealing with mental health issues, the Vikings have turned to Stephen Weatherly, who forced a pivotal fumble in the victory over the Eagles.
The Vikings’ Adam Thielen got a step on Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to nab a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins with 21 seconds left in the

A bit of payback: New Vikings take lead in holding off Eagles

Bringing in John DeFilippo at offensive coordinator and Kirk Cousins at quarterback paid off for the Vikings as they built a 17-point lead and held off the Eagles 23-21 in their NFC title-game rematch.
Minnesota Vikings defensive back Harrison Smith

Vikings standout safety Harrison Smith is a pro's pro

As Harrison Smith continues to fashion a career that could have him on a Hall of Fame trajectory, he's driven by an approach that leaves little room for half measures.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (93) celebrated after stopping Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) for no gain dur

Vikings, Eagles struggling as they prepare for NFC title-game rematch

A Week 5 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions wouldn't avenge the NFC title game loss, but its benefits would be clear.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley catches a touchdown pass in front of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr during the first half on Thur

Widespread problems: Many Vikings can be blamed for defensive lapses

Mike Zimmer is presiding over a defensive unit that currently ranks 22nd in the league in points per game and gave up the fourth-most yards in team history on Thursday.
Cooper Kupp caught a 70-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Defensive disaster: Zimmer vows to 'look at everything' following 38-31 loss to Rams

A Vikings team that gave up only 41 plays of 20 yards or more last season has allowed 17 in the first four games of 2018, including seven by the Rams on Thursday night.
Everson Griffen, the longest-tenured player on the Vikings roster, has been hospitalized after a pair of incidents that involved the police Saturday.

Vikings put football aside to offer support for Griffen

Everson Griffen's hospitalization is a stark reminder that NFL players are not immune to the mental health struggles that affect approximately one in five U.S. adults.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins fumbled after a hit by Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) on Sunday.

Quick rebound: Vikings have short week to prepare for 3-0 Rams

The Los Angeles Rams team the Vikings will face Thursday night is the NFC's first to 3-0, with the league's top-ranked defense and its fourth-ranked offense.
Everson Griffen

Griffen involved in police incident Saturday at Minneapolis hotel

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen remains away from the team for what coach Mike Zimmer called "a personal matter" after Griffen was involved in an police incident Saturday.
Emma McClure and her 9-month-old son, Easton, visited with Adam Thielen at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Vikings' Adam Thielen gives back as well as receives

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen and his wife launched the Thielen Foundation on Tuesday by shining a spotlight on one of the nation's most pernicious yet elusive health crises: Children's mental health issues
Dan Bailey is back in the NFL after missing the first two weeks of the season, following a seven-year run with Dallas.

Vikings sign kicker Dan Bailey, plan on bringing back defensive tackle Tom Johnson

Stacy Coley was waived to make room for Bailey; Johnson is coming back after spending only one game with the Seahawks.
Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson dropped his head after missing a 35-yard field goal attempt in overtime

Vikings kick away chances to win in 29-29 tie with Packers

Rookie Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including two in overtime, as the Vikings rallied with 22 points in the fourth quarter on an afternoon when Kirk Cousins threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers reacts after throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb during the second half of a 20-point comeback agains

Vikings preparing for Aaron Rodgers, regardless of any news out of Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers is front of mind for the Vikings, despite his knee injury sustained last week against Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers caught Mike Zimmer's eye early, during a preseason game in 2008.

Zimmer's respect for Aaron Rodgers is deep and wide

Mike Zimmer got an early peek at Aaron Rodgers' flair, and he hasn't forgotten. "I don't want to say anybody's the best," Zimmer said. "But he's pretty darn close to being the best guy."
Tom Compton, in his first season with the Vikings and a native of Rosemount, is expected to start at left guard Sunday.

Cousins and Compton reunite after becoming fast friends in Washington

Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback and Tom Compton is expected to start at left guard when the Vikings open their season on Sunday. The two were 23-year-old rookies together with the Redskins.
Brett Jones, acquired in a trade with the New York Giants on Aug. 27, started 12 games at center last season.

Brett Jones' experience, familiarity with system, lands him starting center job vs. 49ers.

Less experienced Isidora was the other option to fill in for Elflein.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will face 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator in Washington, when the Vikings open the season

Almost showtime: Cousins staying calm as Vikings debut nears

There was a long offseason, training camp and the preseason. But now the lights come on for Kirk Cousins as Vikings quarterback.
Daniel Carlson showed a strong leg, arrived via high draft pick and elbowed aside a veteran. The parallels to Blair Walsh don’t have to involve a le

Vikings rookie kicker Carlson must channel the good Walsh

Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson faces stresses as he moves along the same path Blair Walsh followed.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman announced his retirement on Saturday, and immediately plans to join the Vikings' coaching staff.

Newman retires as player, will take up coaching with Vikings

Terence Newman is about to turn 40, and with the Vikings having younger defensive backs pushing for time he has decided to hang up his cleats.
Terence Newman has played for the Vikings’ Mike Zimmer on three teams; now, after his retirement, he’ll coach with him.

Terence Newman retires, join Vikings coaching staff as team sets 53-man roster

Cornerback, 39, will retire and take a role on Vikings staff.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonzalez@startribune.com ñ August 8, 2018, Eagan, MN, Twin Cities Orthopedics Perfo

Pressure abounds as Vikings' season starts and ends with Kirk Cousins

When the Vikings plunged dramatically into free agency for Kirk Cousins, they made it clear that 2018 is win-now time.
Vikings running back Mike Boone carried for a second-quarter first down against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

Vikings' bubble players shine in victory over Tennessee

Mike Boone, Brandon Zylstra and a handful of Vikings defenders made their final cases Thursday night in preseason game No. 4 - a 13-3 victory.
Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone is competing for a spot on the roster behind Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.

For Vikings on the bubble, final preseason game 'is the Super Bowl'

The big-name Vikings are unlikely to play. For players on the bubble, though, their closing argument comes tonight — and that means the game at Tennessee is anything but inconsequential.
Brett Jones had been competing for the Giants’ starting center job. He made 13 starts last season: 12 at center and one at guard. The Vikings gave u

Vikings trade with Giants for center Brett Jones

The addition of Jones gives the Vikings another option in case Pat Elflein, still recovering from shoulder and ankle surgeries, isn't ready or they need a versatile backup.
George Iloka celebrated during a game vs. the Broncos last season. Iloka, a safety, signed with the Vikings on Wednesday.

How the Vikings, Iloka struck a deal in warp speed

Just days ago, the Vikings were nowhere on George Iloka's radar. Now, he'll take on an immediate role while reunited with Mike Zimmer.
Kobe McCrary played two seasons for the Gophers, and signed with the Vikings on Monday.

Hurting Vikings sign former U fullback McCrary, offensive guard

After Saturday's preseason loss left the Vikings with a slew of injuries, they needed to add and subtract players from the training-camp roster.
Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray fumbled the ball in the first quarter Saturday against Jacksonville.

Vikings come up short in rocky 14-10 preseason loss to Jaguars

The Vikings offense was less crisp in their second preseason game, losing at U.S. Bank Stadium to Jacksonville.
The Vikings and Jaguars shared a joint practice session.

Vikings faced a formidable scout team foe in Jaguars to prepare for preseason game

The Vikings' preseason game against Jacksonville could be more useful than most after joint practices.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) studies a great deal of film to have success with play-action passes.

Cousins works diligently at the play-action pass

That success, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said Thursday, is a result of extensive film study — but it can be undone if there's not the same attention to detail from the rest of the offense.
Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes

Vikings give Hughes first-team nickel reps; first-round pick continues to impress

As first-round pick Mike Hughes continues to impress the Vikings in training camp, coaches are giving him more of a chance to shine.
Vikings rookie running back Roc Thomas scored on a 74-yard touchdown catch in an exhibition game Saturday against the Broncos.

Vikings rookie Thomas builds a McKinnon skill set

Roc Thomas saw how the Vikings had used Jerick McKinnon, what they were going to be missing and realized he might be able to succeed in Minnesota by imitating a bit of what the former third-round pick had done.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook did not play Saturday night in Denver.

Cook among five likely Vikings starters held out of preseason opener

The Vikings opted to hold running back Dalvin Cook out of their preseason opener against the Broncos on Saturday night
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) congratulated receiver Stefon Diggs (14) after his 1-yard touchdown catch Saturday at Mile High Stadium in Denver

Cousins outperforms Vikings' predecessor Keenum in brief showdown

Kirk Cousins was 4-for-4 with a TD pass for the Vikings in the preseason opener Saturday night; Denver's Case Keenum struggled.
Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton had neck surgery and will likely miss the rest of the season.

Another hole in the line: Easton expected to miss season with neck injury

The Vikings, who were already trying to replace one of their starting guards from the 2017 season, will now likely spend the year without their other returning starter.
Stefon Diggs caught a pass in the end zone while being defended by Xavier Rhodes during a workout on July 30.

'Brothers fight.' Diggs, Rhodes say all is good after practice squabble

Both players said that coach Mike Zimmer's decision to bar them from Wednesday's practice sent a strong message and that things are now good between them.
Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum carried the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game last season.

Vikings start preseason vs. familiar foe in Broncos' Keenum

As the Vikings open the preseason Saturday, they'll line up across from the quarterback whose unlikely rise to the starting job fueled the team's trip to the NFC Championship Game last season: Case Keenum.
Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton is battling neck and back issues.

Vikings piecing together offensive line as injuries pile up

With Nick Easton, Pat Elflein and Mike Remmers sidelined, the Vikings are digging deeper into their roster as they prepare for Saturday's preseason opener at Denver.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) waves to the fans as he enters the stadium at a night practice during the team's training camp at TC

Vikings fans have little trouble filling up new facility in Eagan

The team started releasing more general admission tickets to training camp practices last week, and most of the GA seats in the end zones behind the Vikings' practice fields were full for the better part of the afternoon session.
Vikings' Harrison Smith during practice at their new facility Wednesday, May 23, 2018 in Eagan, Minn. (Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) OR

Vikings defenders feeling hamstrung by new rules on helmet contact

After the season it had, the NFL figured to respond with measures to facilitate more offense. But as the players viewed some examples of hits that would be penalized this season, the Vikings were taken aback.
Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss found his way into the end zone and then into the Metrodome crowd after a touchdown catch against Tampa Bay in 2000.

Moss' arrival changed the Minnesota sports landscape for good

Randy Moss arrived on the Twin Cities sports scene when it was in the midst of a malaise of mediocrity. He left an imprint that may never again be matched.
Anthony Barr of the Vikings hit Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Oct. 15, 2017, and Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone.

Barr's hit on Rodgers would be penalty this season

Anthony Barr's hit on the Green Bay star quarterback started a firestorm on social media last fall, as the linebacker became a special target of Packers' fans ire.
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs

Diggs' big deal: $72M over five years from Vikings

Some parameters of Stefon Diggs' new contract with the Vikings are identical to the ones defensive end Danielle Hunter got earlier this summer.
Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr still has some moves to learn to become a premier pass rusher.

Improvement in pass rushing could mean big payday for Barr

As linebacker Anthony Barr moves closer to free agency, questions remain about whether he will be the next defender the Vikings lock up with a long-term deal.
There are now 19 wideouts playing on contracts worth at least $10 million a season, and the Vikings' Stefon Diggs could put himself in position to be

Wide receiver salary market looking better for Diggs

There are now 19 wideouts playing on contracts worth at least $10 million a season, and Diggs could put himself in position to be the 20th.
Vikings offensive linemen carry the casket of offensive line coach, Tony Sparano after his funeral was held at St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Communit

Vikings say final farewell to Tony Sparano

"He took me to places I couldn't go as a player and as a man," center Pat Elflein said. "It wasn't just football with him. He really cared about his players, the well-being of his players."
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins during Thursday's workout. “They’re easy to lead to because they are so excited about football and they love play

Cousins, confident and in control, already taking Vikings lead

There's little for 29-year-old quarterback Kirk Cousins to worry about other than bonding with his new Vikings teammates who seem as invigorated by football minutiae as he is.
A tribute to offensive line coach Tony Sparano loomed above the Vikings’ first training camp practice in Eagan.

Refuge in the routine: Vikings return to field after Sparano's death

Coach Mike Zimmer tried to pay homage to his friend Wednesday by dispensing some of Tony Sparano's good-natured ribbing to the Vikings' young offensive linemen.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousin watched as kids warmed up at his football camp at Hope College Friday June, 29, 2018 in Holland , MI.

Soaring expectations can't uproot Cousins from hometown

Kirk Cousins has fame and wealth, but to know who he is, you have to turn to his hometown.
Tony Sparano, a two-time NFL head coach who had been the Vikings offensive line coach since 2016, died Sunday morning at the age of 56, the team said.

'Passionate and driven' Vikings offensive line coach Sparano dies

Sparano, 56, brought caring and wisdom as a no-nonsense offensive line coach.
Vikings players worked out at minicamp earlier this month in Eagan.

Want to watch Vikings training camp? Better start planning now

The Vikings will require tickets for fans to attend practices in their first training camp at their new practice facility in Eagan. Season-ticket holders get first crack on Thursday.
Vikings tackle Mike Remmers, left, took part in minicamp at the TCO Vikings Performance Center

Vikings have less furniture to move as offensive line takes shape

As the Vikings spent the spring minicamp learning a new offense and breaking in new quarterback Kirk Cousins, they had to do it with some moving parts on the offensive line.
Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf (left) addressed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s (right) new national anthem policy for the first time. Mark and Zygi Wi

Vikings owners support NFL's new anthem policy

Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf, the son of immigrants, said the team will announce in coming weeks new initiatives addressing social justice issues.
Vikings quarterback Trevor Siemian, left, ran drills alongside quarterback Kirk Cousins during a mandatory Vikings three-day minicamp in Eagan on Wedn

Backing up Cousins, Siemian's value can't be overstated

Only once in Mike Zimmer's four seasons as Vikings coach — and only twice in this decade — has the team had a quarterback start all 16 regular-season games.
Vikings running back Latavius Murray underwent ankle surgery last offseason. This spring, he can actually concentrate on football.

No more frustration: Murray on field instead of sidelines this spring

Running back Latavius Murray spent all of the offseason last year rehabilitating after ankle surgery and didn't play until the team's third preseason game.
Dalvin Cook took to the field for practice on Tuesday.

Getting close: Cook gets running back, wide receiver work at practice

When he is ready to return from the injury that ended his rookie season, Dalvin Cook is excited to step into "the offense that I've always wanted to be in."
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

DeFilippo and Cousins: A melding of the minds comes to the Vikings

In John DeFilippo — the former Eagles quarterbacks coach who accepted the Vikings' offensive coordinator job hours after the Super Bowl parade — the Vikings appear to have a kindred spirit to QB Kirk Cousins.
Anthony Barr (55).

Barr explains his absence from last week's Vikings workouts

Because of his uncertain contract status, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said he needed to take out an insurance policy to provide financial cover against injury.
Stefon Diggs showed off his skills during practice at the team's new Eagan facility on Wednesday.

Will Diggs command even more money if he clicks with Cousins?

Wide receivers around the NFL are getting paid big money. Will Stefon Diggs be next? How he fits in with new QB Kirk Cousins will be the factor.
Ade Aruna did not try football until his senior year in high school. A few short years later he got an NFL combine invite.

From Nigeria to U.S. - and basketball to football - Vikes see Aruna's potential

In Ade Aruna's attributes — 34 ½-inch arms, 4.6-second 40-yard dash time, 38 ½-inch vertical jump — the Vikings see the kind of prospect with whom defensive line coach Andre Patterson has struck gold before.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman will be back for his 16th NFL season.

Vikings' Terence Newman says this is his final shot at a Super Bowl title

The NFL's oldest defender wants to pursue a title, then has plans to retire.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman will be back for his 16th NFL season.

Newman returning to Vikings for 16th NFL season

After picking up the option for Trae Waynes, one of the teams' younger defensive backs, the Vikings tapped Terence Newman for another season as well.
Before formally being introduced to local media members Minnesota Vikings first round pick cornerback Mike Hughes from the University of Central Flori

Mock draft meets reality: What the Vikings did vs. what we expected

Last week, Star Tribune football writer Ben Goessling offered his version of whom the Vikings would take in the 2018 NFL Draft. Take a look at his picks vs. the ones made by the team.
Will the University of Pittsburgh's Brian O'Neill, left, be able to step in and immediately help the Vikings' offensive line? Much of the 2018 roster

Five questions still facing the 2018 Vikings

A team that went 13-3 last season has Super Bowl aspirations again this year. But the Vikings still face questions about how they'll reach that goal.
The jersey for Vikings first-round pick Mike Hughes, left, is the last one that had its name sewn on by Penny Bryce, center.

Vikings' seamstress Penny Bryce hanging up her needle after 49 years

Since 1969, Penny Bryce has tended to uniforms of Vikings players but after she sewed the nameplate for first-round pick Mike Hughes the time has come to retire..
UCF returner Mike Hughes (19) returns a punt 63 yards for a touchdown during the third quarter against East Carolina in October.

Vikings draft Central Florida cornerback Hughes with 30th pick

The Vikings on Thursday night waited patiently before picking up Mike Hughes, using a first-round pick on a defensive back for the fourth time in six years and continuing to invest in the league's top-ranked defense.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins got a head-start on the new game plan.

Cousins begins building foundation with Vikings — on and off the field

There's no doubt Kirk Cousins will be the alpha dog of a Vikings team that harbors Super Bowl expectations as it heads into 2018. But he knows better than to force himself into that role.
The Vikings could go in many different directions when selecting players for the 2018 NFL draft. Frank Ragnow, Billy Price and Troy Fumagalli are all

Vikings Mock Draft: Projecting every Vikings pick in all seven rounds

Adding Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson in free agency were big steps for the Vikings. The next is filling needs in the draft. Our ultimate Vikings Mock Draft features predictions for all seven rounds.
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