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2023 Steelers Exit Interviews: Chandon Sullivan and Darius Rush

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2024.

Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, and the fact I have done these articles in the past, we thought we would do the same here at Steel Curtain Network. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin has previously stated he starts his interviews with rookies and those heading into free agency, we will attempt to do the same to some degree. To start, we will pair the most recent draftees with another player at the same position (if possible) as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.

Next up are cornerbacks Chandon Sullivan and Darius Rush.

Chandon Sullivan

Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Cornerback
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 6
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money
Games played in 2023: 17 regular season
Games started in 2023: 2 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 422 (defense), 222 (special teams)
PFF score: 60.4 (79th of 127)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Sullivan had 22 tackles, one forced fumble, 6 passes defensed, and one interception. According to Pro Football Reference, Sullivan surrendered no touchdowns on the season and gave up 17 completions on 28 targets for a 60.7% completion rate.

Notes: Joining the Steelers in 2023, Sullivan appeared in every game as the Steelers nickel cornerback. While often not standing out in either an outstanding or terrible way, Sullivan appeared to get the job done for the Steelers. Although the Steelers could look for a nickel cornerback in the draft this season, it does not rule out reunion with Sullivan to help bridge the gap. Playing last season on a veteran salary benefit contract, coming back to the Steelers in the same manner would be advantageous to both sides. And with reports that the two seem to be interested in a 2024 reunion, I think we’ll see Sullivan this summer vying for a spot on the roster.

Darius Rush

Position: Cornerback
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract Status: Signed through 2024 where he would then become an exclusive rights free agent.
Contract Details: $915,000 salary cap hit for 2024. Would cost the Steelers $0 in dead money if released and save $915,000.
Games played in 2023: 3 regular season
Games started in 2023: 0 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 39 (defense), 20 (special teams)
PFF score: 54.4 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Rush had three tackles and a pass defensed. According to Pro Football Reference, Rush was targeted twice with one completion for 12 yards.

Notes: Signed to the Steelers active roster from the Kansas City practice squad in the middle of October, Darius Rush is very intriguing to many in Steelers’ Nation. He only appeared in three games last season after being dressed for four in a Steelers uniform. While many are hopeful he could get into the mix and be the answer for the Steelers in the secondary, there is a large jump from being on the inactive list every week to being a significant contributor. While it is possible and it would benefit Steelers greatly to see Rush come on in this manner, banking on it happening would be foolish as it would be much better to be pleasantly surprised and therefore have more options in the secondary. Rush will be at training camp this summer, but his inclusion on the offseason 90-man roster is not going to keep the Steelers from making moves otherwise.

Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:

Broderick Jones & Chuks Okorafor
Joey Porter Jr. & Levi Wallace
Keeanu Benton & Montravius Adams
Darnell Washington & Rodney Williams
Nick Herbig & Markus Golden
Cory Trice Jr. & James Pierre
Spencer Anderson & Dylan Cook
Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Armon Watts
Calvin Austin III & Allen Robinson
Connor Heyward & Godwin Igwebuike
Mark Robinson & Blake Martinez
Najee Harris & Jaylen Warren
Pat Freiermuth & Diontae Johnson
Dan Moore Jr. & Mason Cole
Isaiahh Loudermilk & Larry Ogunjobi
Pressley Harvin & Christian Kuntz
Kwon Alexander & Mykal Walker
Miles Killebrew & Elijah Riley


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