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Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings

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
Viking coach Kevin O’Connell walked with Justin Jefferson at the team’s mini-camp on Wednesday at TCO Performance Center.

New coach O'Connell has Vikings taking 'class on the grass'

Vikings players had plenty to learn during offseason program with new coaching staff and new defensive scheme.
Eric Kendricks (54) celebrated with Vikings teammate Harrison Phillips after hitting a home run during the Adam Thielen Foundation charity softball ga

Vikings look to social outings to help build better team

Kirk Cousins called it 'an extra heartbeat,' that time spent together off the field can help players and coaches make stronger connections.
Eric Kendricks, celebrates with Harrison Phillips after hitting a home run during the Adam Thielen Foundation Charity Softball game at CHS Field

When the Vikings play softball, their long snapper becomes the star

Andrew DePaola hit four home runs at CHS Field at a charity game. "I don't know if anyone knew I could play baseball," he said.
Vikings wide receiver Albert Wilson, right, gets a hug from Bisi Johnson on Wilson’s first day with the team.

Vikings sign veteran receiver Wilson; Za'Darius Smith sidelined by injury

The Vikings were down two receivers due to injuries during organized team activities, and suddenly free-agent receiver Albert Wilson's phone lit up.
Former Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney, 25, died after a car crash in the Dallas area early Monday morning.

Former Vikings first-round pick Gladney, 25, dies after car crash

Cornerback Jeff Gladney started 15 of the Vikings' 16 games in 2020.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since his Jan. 10 comments about the Vikings’ culture, Eric Kendricks said, “If I want chang

No more fear: Veteran Kendricks plays role in new Vikings culture

Eric Kendricks' words about the team's management — "I don't think a fear-based organization is the way to go" — grabbed headlines when the Wilfs fired Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman.
U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Vikings.

Vikings name former 49ers executive as VP of football operations

Demitrius Washington has been with San Francisco for seven seasons, beginning his time there alongside new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in the 49ers football research and development department.
Defensive backs like safety Lewis Cine, the Vikings’ first-round draft pick, were a point of emphasis at the team’s rookie minicamp Friday.

Vikings limit tryouts at rookie camp, focus on passing game

Only 42 players, far below the usual 70 or 80, were on the field Friday for the first day of new coach Kevin O'Connell's first rookie minicamp.
The Vikings open their season by hosting the Packers on Sept 11 and will play at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Day. This time, Za’Darius Smith (55)

Vikings will open against Packers, host Patriots on Thanksgiving

The Vikings will host a Thanksgiving game for the first time, one of a series of notable match-ups on the 2022 schedule, which also includes opening at home against Green Bay.
Running back Alexander Mattison in the last Vikings-Eagles matchup in 2019.

Vikings will play Eagles on 'Monday Night Football' in Week 2

The Sept. 19 matchup will be the Vikings' second trip to Lincoln Financial Field since the NFC Championship game after the 2017 season.
The Vikings will face off against the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Vikings headed to London again, will play Saints on October 2

The game, to be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, will be the Vikings' third in London since 2013. The Vikings will not give up a home game to make the trip.
Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (second from right), the 18th overall pick in 2019, struggled in pass protection.

Vikings decline center Garrett Bradbury's fifth-year option

The decision, which was widely expected, will make the 2019 first-round pick a free agent after the season.
Cornerback Andrew Booth, a second-round draft pick, figures to get a crack at a starting job in the Vikings secondary.

Five big questions for the Vikings after their 10-player draft

The Vikings made six trades and spent most of their early picks on defense. Here are questions to consider as the team prepares to gather for workouts later this month.
North Carolina running back Ty Chandler was a fifth-round draft pick by the Vikings.

Meet the Vikings' 2022 NFL draft class

The team finished with 10 picks in General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first crack at running a draft, using five of its first six choices on defensive players.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke to the media about first-round draft pick Lewis Cine on Friday.

Trades with rivals were risks worth taking for Vikings GM

Vikings Insider: Adofo-Mensah's first draft as an NFL general manager, will be remembered, rightly or wrongly, for a pair of deals in the first two rounds that allowed NFC North rivals to select receivers.
Jalen Nailor of Michigan State was one of two players drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round.

Vikings shift focus to offense in last two rounds of draft

After mostly drafting defenders in early rounds, the Vikings added an offensive tackle, a wide receiver and a tight end in the sixth and seventh rounds.
The Vikings’ first-round draft pick, Georgia safety Lewis Cine, met the media at TCO Performance Center on Friday.

Vikings' top pick Cine thrives on playing a physical game

Georgia safety Lewis Cine said he would strive to play in a smart, rugged manner and bring a physical element to the Vikings' defense while complying with ever-changing NFL rules.
Cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) celebrated with teammates after Clemson’s win over South Carolina in November,

Get to know Vikings' Day 2 draft picks

The Vikings selected cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., offensive lineman Ed Ingram and linebacker Brian Asamoah on Friday night.
Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 in Athens, Ga.

Vikings trade back, select Georgia safety Cine at No. 32 in NFL draft

Draft charts that measure the value of each pick were divided on whether the Vikings won the trade, or whether they should have gotten more from Detroit in the swap.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah makes a point during a press conference before the draft.

First draft, new story: How will Vikings draft change under Adofo-Mensah?

Even while using much of predecessor Rick Spielman's scouting operation, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has given hints about how he will handle the team's picks differently.
Alabama receiver Jameson Williams (left), Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie (top right), and Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis may have the Vik

Our complete Vikings mock draft: Eight picks and a couple of trades

Football writer Ben Goessling walks you through his thoughts about what the Vikings will do in the team's first draft with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell in charge.
Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. works out at LSU’s Pro Day for NFL coaches and scouts on April 6.

Draft preview: Heard this before? Vikings need to invest in cornerbacks

The team has taken four cornerbacks in the first round since 2013 — and it won't be a surprise if they select yet another one on Thursday night.
The Vikings’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is preparing for his first draft as an NFL general manager.

Vikings' top needs in the 2022 NFL draft

For the first time since 2006, Rick Spielman isn't in charge of the Vikings' draft. But they need help at the position he emphasized in the first round: cornerback.
Center Tyler Linderbaum is the latest pro-ready prospect from Iowa, which has turned out plenty of offensive linemen.

Draft preview: New leaders take on Vikings' ongoing offensive line situation

GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O'Connell get to try their hand at the problem that plagued Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer as much as any other.
Drake London’s size and route-running ability make him one of the top prospects in this draft class.

Draft preview: Adding receiver may be tempting to Vikings

The Vikings may consider using one of their first three picks on a receiver who could develop alongside Justin Jefferson.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins helped lead an offseason workout Tuesday at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.

Vikings players take the lead in offseason workouts

During the first two weeks of the NFL offseason program, the on-field work happens under of the watch of strength and conditioning coaches.
Kevin O’Connell (shown in a February news conference) is nearly five months from his first meaningful game as Vikings coach, but his players are ent

Jefferson, Vikings endorse O'Connell's changes, approachability

The players have been all smiles through the first two days of new coach Kevin O'Connell's first offseason program, talking optimistically about the team's new culture.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins had his first news conference Monday since signing a contract extension with the Vikings.

Cousins sets a goal: 'I would like to retire as a Viking'

As the team reconvenes under new coach Kevin O'Connell, its quarterback spoke to reporters for the first time since he signed a one-year contract extension.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell has a plan for Danielle Hunter — a defensive end in the team’s longtime 4-3 alignment — as an outside linebacker

What a rush: O'Connell set to deploy Hunter, Smith in revamped defense

During a 30-minute media session this week, Vikings' new coach Kevin O'Connell talked about how he plans to use his edge-rushing tandem in a 3-4 defense.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson, right, announced on his podcast that he’s returning for a second season with the Vikings.

Cornerback Peterson taking pay cut to return to Vikings

Patrick Peterson announced his signing on his podcast, saying: "I'm not trying to back up the Brink's truck any more," and that he just wanted a respectable contract.
Vikings co-owners Mark Wilf, left, and Lenny Wilf, right, with the team’s chief operating officer, Andrew Miller, at the league meetings this week.

NFL changes postseason OT rules; Vikings among teams to vote no

The Vikings favored guaranteeing both teams one possession in overtime. but preferred a different method than the one passed by the league's owners.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell (at the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.) and quarterback Kirk Cousins are hoping better planning before games l

Vikings banking on the relationship between O'Connell, Cousins

Kevin O'Connell worked with Kirk Cousins as a quarterbacks coach with Washington in 2017, and that familiarity and ability to communicate well with each other should help the entire offense.
Jesse Davis (77) has started 72 games at either guard or tackle the past five seasons in Miami.

Vikings add ex-Dolphins guard Davis, ex-Broncos cornerback Hairston

While Kevin O'Connell attends seminars and catches up with his counterparts in his first NFL annual meetings as Vikings coach, the team added two players to his roster.
The Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel (left) and the Texans’ Lovie Smith were the only two minority hires for the nine NFL head coaching openings after the

NFL announces diversity, equity and inclusion initiative

The league will pay teams up to $200,000 to add a minority or female coach to its offensive staff in 2022.
Financial decisions the Vikings are making now could impact contract negotiations with Justin Jefferson in the future.

Under new regime, Vikings keep roster and salary-cap predicament largely intact

As the new league year opened, the team opted not to follow through on a hard reset, again pushing money problems into future seasons.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spoke at a news conference in Eagan on Thursday.

Vikings pursue fiscally prudent approach to building team

Facing salary cap issues, the team has turned to affordable free agents like Harrison Phillips and Jordan Hicks, whom the team believes will be solid additions.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) had one of the five sacks of Ben Roethlisberger on Dec. 9.

Vikings gain $6 million in cap space by restructuring Smith's contract

The team converted safety Harrison Smith's $8 million roster bonus to a signing bonus, helping them officially sign the free agents they added this week.
Vikings new general manger Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to create more salary cap room as part of the team’s roster makeover.

As NFL free agency opens, cap-strapped Vikings keep moves modest

With the beginning of the league year, the Vikings officially signed defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, re-signed punter Jordan Berry and agreed to terms with two other free agents with ties to new coaches.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks in 2019

Defensive overhaul continues, Vikings reach deal with linebacker Hicks

Bringing in Jordan Hicks, who played with Arizona, continued efforts to revamp the front seven — and could reflect the end of the linebacker alignment of the Mike Zimmer era.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Dec

Vikings extend Cousins' contract through 2023, gain cap space

The deal came just before the start of NFL free agency and resolves what might have been the biggest question for the team's new leadership.
Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman at training camp in 2021.

Vikings part ways with head athletic trainer Sugarman

Eric Sugarman had been with the team for 16 years, one of the longest-tenured members of its football department.
New Vikings special teams coordinator Matt Daniels

Vikings' new special teams coordinator has ties to Rams, too

Matt Daniels will become the second coordinator with Rams ties to join the staff under new Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Among other hires was defensive backs coach Daronte Jones, who held that same position under Mike Zimmer in 2020.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah introduces new head coach Kevin O’Connell during a news conference Thursday.

Time for O'Connell and Adofo-Mensah to get to work — and quickly

The Vikings' protracted searches for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell finally give way to a truncated offseason schedule and a hefty to-do list.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, left, and new head coach Kevin O’Connell at a news conference Thursday.

Vikings usher in a new era as O'Connell takes the team's reins

Kevin O'Connell seemed to be building a thesis during Thursday's press conference: The team's current roster has enough talent to win right now. All it needs is to be managed properly.
New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell’s staff will include defensive coordinator Ed Donatell (top left) and assistant head coach Mike Pettine (bo

Vikings announce nine assistant coaches for O'Connell's staff

The list for new head coach Kevin O'Connell includes defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and assistant head coach Mike Pettine, the Packers' defensive coordinator from 2018-20.
Kevin O’Connell

O'Connell to be introduced as Vikings head coach this afternoon

Kevin O'Connell becomes the second-youngest coach in Vikings history behind Norm Van Brocklin, who was 35 when he coached the franchise's first game.
Kevin O’Connell has operated a pass-heavy attack as Rams offensive coordinator and likely will turn the Vikings more in that direction as head coach

Rams, Bengals offenses offer glimpse for Vikings future under O'Connell

The Super Bowl matchup will be a showcase for an offensive lineage that now includes Kevin O'Connell, set to become the Vikings' new head coach.
New coordinator Donatell could bring big change to Vikings defense

New coordinator Donatell could bring big change to Vikings defense

If the Vikings switch to a three-man defensive front under new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, it could change how they evaluate certain players, including pass rushers like Danielle Hunter.
Ryan Grigson in 2016, when he was general manager of the Colts.

Vikings add former Colts GM Grigson to front office

Ryan Grigson, who worked with new Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Cleveland, joins the team in a senior personnel role.
Kevin O’Connell, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s co-worker in the 49ers organization, became the Vikings’ head coach pick over Patrick Graham and Jim Harba

In choosing O'Connell, Vikings stick to their vision for the future

A high-profile flirtation with Jim Harbaugh ended without an offer, as the Vikings found a partner for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in 36-year-old Kevin O'Connell.
The Vikings chose Kevin O’Connell, 36, to be the 10th head coach in franchise history after conducting a second interview in Los Angeles with him on

Vikings choose Rams' Kevin O'Connell as new head coach

The Vikings spent most of Wednesday interviewing Michigan's Jim Harbaugh but never made him an offer. Instead, they chose the Rams' offensive coordinator, who can't officially be hired until after the Super Bowl.
Four names emerged Monday as the Vikings continue to interview head coaching candidates. Clockwise from top left: Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Graham, Kevin

Vikings narrow head coach candidate list, set Harbaugh interview

After interviewing the Rams' Raheem Morris and Kevin O'Connell in California on Monday, the team will interview Patrick Graham in Minnesota today and Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday.
Vikings President Mark Wilf, left, and new General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

What could 'analytics' mean to reshaped Vikings? Winning games, winning over skeptics

What the word means to people — inside the organization and to fans — will determine much of the initial perception of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's work as general manager,
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh won the Big Ten and reached the College Football Playoff this past season.

Vikings talk to Harbaugh, interview Giants coordinator Graham

The Vikings had exploratory conversations with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to gauge interest on both sides in the team's head coaching position. He coached the 49ers for four seasons.
Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will be the ninth coaching candidate to interview with the Vikings.

Giants' defensive coordinator Graham to get next Vikings coaching interview

Patrick Graham will have an interview with the team Saturday, as the first candidate added to the Vikings' list since Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was hired as general manager.
Vikings new general manger Kwesi Adofo-Mensah after a news conference Thursday.

Journey begins for Adofo-Mensah as new GM takes command of Vikings

As Kwesi Adofo-Mensah shared his approach to his new job, he was short on specifics while making it clear he believes his unorthodox path to the job will be an advantage to reshaping the Vikings.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, left, with Browns General Manager Andrew Berry at the team’s training camp in August.

Vikings make it official: Browns' Adofo-Mensah hired as general manager

The first Vikings general manager search in 16 years put team officials in interviews with the widest range of candidates in club history. The winning candidate took a path to the GM's office like few in the NFL.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, left, watched a Cleveland Browns practice last year with general manager Andrew Barry.

Adofo-Mensah appears to be favorite for Vikings GM job; Bears hire Poles

Cleveland Browns executive Kwesi Adofo-Mensah remained in the Twin Cities on Tuesday night as his conversations with the Vikings continued into the evening.
The Vikings fired General Manager Rick Spielman on Jan. 10.

First challenge for Vikings' new GM? Solving the salary cap puzzle

The Vikings last season chose to defer costs to 2022, leaving a bill for Rick Spielman's successor to pick up.
According to a source, the Vikings have requested second interviews with Browns VP of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Chiefs executive Ryan

Source: Browns' Adofo-Mensah, Chiefs' Poles gain second interviews in Vikings' GM search

The Vikings are expected to meet again with both candidates next week after an initial round of eight interviews to find Rick Spielman's replacement.
Catherine Raiche, the Eagles vice president of football operations, became the first woman to interview for a GM position in the NFL.

Raiche makes NFL history, interviews for Vikings GM position

By Monday's end, the Vikings were to have completed first interviews with four external candidates, including Eagles' executive Catherine Raiche, believed to be the first woman to interview for a GM position in the NFL.
Former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer took the field ahead of a game between the Steelerslast month.

At end of Spielman-Zimmer era, Vikings were team on edge

Mike Zimmer's unremitting approach yielded more wins than any coach not named Bud Grant or Dennis Green, but ultimately wore thin.
Todd Bowles, now the Buccaneers defensive coordinator, interviewed for the Vikings’ head coaching job in 2014.

Vikings request interviews with seven coaches, including Bowles

The team asked to speak with NFL assistants who are currently coaching in the playoffs such as the Buccaneers' Todd Bowles, the Packers' Nathaniel Hackett and the Cowboys' Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn.
The Vikings are seeking to interview Catherine Raiche, the Eagles’ vice president of football operations, for the team’s general manager job. Raic

Vikings seek interviews with Raiche, Ossenfort, six others for GM job

Catherine Raiche, the Eagles' VP of football operations, would be the first woman to interview for a GM job in NFL history. Monti Ossenfort, the Titans' player personnel director, is a Luverne native and Minnesota Morris alumnus.
Who will the Wilfs hire for the Vikings GM job?There were signs things were starting to pick up as of Wednesday evening.

Vikings request interviews with four for GM job; here are four others to watch

The first two days of the Vikings' general manager and coaching searches have played out relatively quietly, but there were signs things were starting to pick up as of Wednesday evening.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had a 72-56-1 record in his eight years with Minnesota, the third best in team history.

Wilfs clean house; players want coach who can connect with them

Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf say they'll hire a new general manager before naming a new coach. Veteran Eric Kendricks said some of ex-coach Mike Zimmer's sharp-tongued critiques didn't sit well with players.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer sat on the team bench before the Dec. 26 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Vikings sack Zimmer, Spielman; replacement search starting now

Coach Mike Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman had two years remaining on their contracts. But a day after the Vikings finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs, owners Zygi and Mark Wilf opted for a total reset.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrated a touchdown with quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) in t

Beginning of the end? Vikings await big decisions after beating Bears

Kirk Cousins dropped to a knee on the final play as fans booed the decision not to give Justin Jefferson a shot at a team receiving record. Bigger decisions await the team.
Lions rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown caught an 11-yard TD pass on the final play of the game to beat the Vikings on Dec. 5, as defensive backs Cameron Dantz

Five bets the Vikings made in 2021 that didn't pay off

A veteran secondary. A healthy front seven. A bigger offensive line. A first-time offensive play-caller. A spotty vaccination record.
Justin Jefferson (18) could break another one of Randy Moss’ records Sunday.

Vikings-Bears preview: 3 story lines, 2 key matchups, 1 prediction

The result of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium could come down to which team plays harder for a coach who might be in his final game.
Harrison Smith has 15.5 sacks in eight seasons under Mike Zimmer, including one of Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger last month.

Vikings' Smith is a safety of his time, trying to adapt to changing NFL

At the end of his 10th NFL season, safety Harrison Smith remains a hallmark of the Vikings defense for his ability to disguise blitzes and coverage shifts.
Vikings defensive back Mackensie Alexander trailed the action as Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams caught a long pass from Aaron Rodgers on Sunday

Rodgers' dominance shows Vikings' secondary is again a problem

The Packers quarterback has thrown 13 touchdowns without an interception in his past four games against Minnesota, posting passer ratings above 100 each time.
Packers running back Aaron Jones broke away from Camryn Bynum on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Overmatched Vikings blown out of game — and playoff race — in loss to Packers

The Vikings' playoff hopes were euthanized Sunday night, in a 37-10 defeat that felt like an anthology of their worst moments against their hated rivals from Green Bay.
Mike Zimmer and the Vikings are headed to Lambeau Field to face a large challenge in a season that has presented many.

Last stand at Lambeau: After season fending off disaster, Vikings' challenge toughens

The Vikings will take on Green Bay and need to win — as 13 1/2-point underdogs — to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention. And they'll be without quarterback Kirk Cousins and other key players.
Dalvin Cook presents an advantage for the Vikings in a game that seems to tilt toward the Packers.

Vikings-Packers preview: 3 key story lines, 2 matchups, 1 prediction

Minnesota will take on Green Bay without quarterback Kirk Cousins, receiver Adam Thielen and so many others, but Dalvin Cook is back and looms as a linchpin.