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

From A to O-line: Spielman plots his 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.
15.3: Points per game the Vikings have put up since their Week 10 bye. Kevin Stefanski gets his shot Sunday to turn that around.

Salvage mode: Vikings enter final games on thin ice and down a fired coordinator

As the Vikings try to lift themselves out of a situation mostly of their own making at the tail end of a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations, they have precious little time to right the ship.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against Seattle

Zimmer mum on meeting with offense: 'Are we going to talk about Miami?'

Coach Mike Zimmer said he and interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski met with the Vikings' offensive players, though Zimmer would not discuss what either of them said in the meeting.
Things went from bad to worse for the Vikings in the fourth quarter, when Kirk Cousins was stripped of the ball by the Seahawks’ Jacob Martin and Ju

Vikings' offense shows next to nothing in 21-7 loss to Seattle

The Vikings were held scoreless until a meaningless touchdown with 73 seconds to play, and the defeat allowed three teams to move within a half-game of them for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
Chris Carson (32) is the leading man in the Seahawks’ high-flying, No. 1-ranked running game, with 704 yards at 4.5 yards per carry.

The Call: Monday's Vikings vs. Seahawks game

The Vikings will have a chance to take this one if they can slow down Seattle's top-ranked run game, but it'll be tough against a Seahawks team that appears to be finding its stride.
Mike Zimmer will coach Monday night in Seattle, a venue that is far out of the comfort zone of most visitors.

Vikings' path to playoffs and beyond looks filled with road tests

If the Vikings are to make the kind of deep playoff run many had predicted for them, it's very possible they will have to do much of it on the road.
Vikings fullback C.J. Ham was tackled by New England’s Dont’a Hightower on Sunday.

Second guessing himself: DeFilippo says Vikings should have run more against Patriots

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said Friday there were "two or three instances" where the Vikings threw the ball when they should have run it instead.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook carried only nine times Sunday, a sign of a lack of balance with the offense.

DeFilippo praised by Zimmer, says he plans to help more with offense

The Vikings' head coach mentioned the possibility of delegating more in-game defensive adjustments to defensive coordinator George Edwards.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked once Sunday, by Adam Butler and Trey Flowers, but the Vikings line did an otherwise competent job of keeping him u

Three takeaways from the Vikings' loss to Patriots

The protection was strong; the production, less so.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) couldn't reach a third quarter pass while double covered by twins free safety Devin McCourty (32) an

Familiar shortcomings on display as Vikings fall to New England

In addition to failing another key test against a tough opponent, losing to New England put the Vikings in a more precarious position for the postseason.
In his first season with the Patriots, Cordarrelle Patterson has 276 yards from scrimmage through 11 games. That includes 156 yards on 37 carries (4.2

The Call: Of all the places to begin December, Vikings head to Foxborough

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 124-20 at Gillette Stadium in his career, having already beaten the Texans and Chiefs this season, and 32-4 at home in December
Bill Belichick leaves his weekly news conference in Foxborough, Mass., on Wednesday.

Game with Patriots presents Vikings with golden opportunity

The five-time Super Bowl champions are the standard to which coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings aspire.
Andrew Sendejo

Vikings safety Sendejo out for rest of season with groin injury

Safety Andrew Sendejo's season came to an official end Tuesday when the Vikings put the veteran safety on injured reserve.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins shook hands with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Sunday night's game.

Three things from the Vikings' victory over Green Bay

Smart, mistake-free football was key.
Kirk Cousins scrambled and then threw a TD pass to Adam Thielen at the end of the third quarter.

Bouncing back: Cousins leads way to 24-17 Vikings win

With playoff spots up for grabs, the Vikings firmed up their chances by handling Green Bay thanks to a masterful showing by Kirk Cousins, who upstaged Aaron Rodgers.
Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) leads the league with a 6.4-yard rushing average. He has scored a touchdown in four of the five games this seaso

Vikings-Packers: A must-win? It's getting close.

Both the Vikings and Packers could be looking at some dire playoff prospects with a loss Sunday night.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen flexed after sacking Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Week 2 matchup that ended in a tie at Lambeau Fiel

Vikings-Packers showcase features teams fighting for playoff lives

A Vikings loss to the Packers would put them third in the NFC North, 2 ½ games behind the Bears. A loss by the Packers — which would be their sixth in as many road games — would drop them to 4-6-1.
Sharrif Floyd during Vikings training camp in 2016.

Ex-Viking Sharrif Floyd withdraws grievance with NFLPA

Move will boost team's cap room from $280,000 to more than $4.2 million
Three turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown by safety Eddie Jackson (39), were too much for the Vikings to overcome in Chicago

Giveaways have been a common thread in Vikings losses this season

The Vikings are tied with the Eagles — the team they faced in the NFC Championship Game last year — for 26th in the league with 16 turnovers, already having surpassed their total from all of 2017.
Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson scored a touchdown after intercepting the ball in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field

Frustration mounts as Vikings give Bears leeway in NFC North

The Vikings offense struggled for most of the 25-20 loss, including a fourth-quarter pass by Kirk Cousins that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, as the Bears expanded their lead in the NFC North.
Dalvin Cook had a 70-yard run against Detroit.

Cook should be 'full-go' for Vikings against Bears

After a strong game against Detroit, and a bye week, second-year pro Dalvin Cook could get more work Sunday night at Chicago.
Illinois native Kirk Cousins will be playing his first NFC North game at Soldier Field.

Bearing down: Cousins readies himself for favorite childhood team

Growing up in suburban Chicago, legendary Bears linebacker Mike Singletary was Cousins' youth football coach, and he went to school with Walter Payton's children.
Ameer Abdullah

'Excited' Abdullah looking for a fresh start with the Vikings

The Vikings claimed former Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah off waivers Nov. 8, and he comes to the Vikings hoping to reboot his career.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

Tough stretch ahead will determine success of Vikings' season

After this week's bye, the Vikings return with back-to-back Sunday night games against NFC North opponents followed by a pair of road games against a pair of tough opponents.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook broke away on a 70-yard run in the second quarter against the Lions on Sunday.

Cook's return should allow Vikings to open up playbook

Dalvin Cook recorded the fastest speed by a ball carrier in the NFL this season on his 70-yard run, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He also played more than expected.
Danielle Hunter sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the third quarter on Sunday. Hunter had 3 1/2 sacks and returned a fumble for a to

Hunter creates havoc, Vikings set team sack record in crushing Lions

The Vikings were able to come after Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford with such ferocity that not much else factored into the final outcome.
Danielle Hunter (99) and Eric Kendricks (54) —Vikings third- and second-round picks, respectively, in 2015 —have helped make that draft class mayb

Bucking a trend: Vikings' 2015 draft class ranks high

While teams around the division, and around the league, discard picks from their 2015 drafts, the Vikings' 2015 group has helped form the bedrock of their team.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been pressured on 40.9 percent of his dropbacks this season.

When Vikings' pocket crumbles, quarterback Cousins doesn't

One of the most pressured QBs in the NFL still produces when pass rushers are closing in on him.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) closed in to recover a fumble by Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) late in the second quarter, one of t

Losing turnover battle means Vikings just plain lose

Coach Mike Zimmer refuses to single out miscues made by wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in the loss to New Orleans on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs is an eclectic-dressing homebody who doesn’t like to drink, skydives, wants to swim with sharks and doesn’t care if he doesn’t conf

Vikings' Diggs comfortable as a nonconformist

The man who made perhaps the most iconic play in franchise history has little need to contort himself to fit views of who he should be.
Drew Brees, showing no signs of being 39 years old, is completing 77 percent of his passes, 13 of them touchdown tosses, and no interceptions.

Vikings vs. Saints: Minnesota will win if ...

The Vikings have beaten the Saints twice in 13 months at U.S. Bank Stadium, but with injuries on defense, they could have a tough time slowing down Drew Brees in time to get a third victory against New Orleans.
Anthony Barr walked off the field at the end of Sunday's game at the Jets. Barr was injured.

Injured Vikings Cook, Barr, Rhodes miss practice

Xavier Rhodes' Week 8 availability could be of particular concern to the Vikings as they prepare to face Drew Brees and the Saints.
Everson Griffen (97) shouted out to teammates during a practice last season.

Griffen back at Vikings practice; Zimmer mum on when he'll play

Everson Griffen is scheduled to practice this afternoon, and coach Mike Zimmer said of the player's time away from the team: "I don't think it's as unique as we make it out to be."
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.

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.
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