Vikings Starter Claps Back at Reporter Who Calls Him the Defense’s ‘Biggest Issue’

Chandon Sullivan

Courtesy of Vikings Vikings cornerback Chandon Sullivan fired back at a reporter who questioned his ability.

A quiet addition to the Minnesota Vikings defense is former Green Bay Packers slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan.

Last season, Sullivan ranked as a top-10 slot corner, posting the fourth-lowest snaps per reception allowed, third-lowest snaps per target and 10-lowest in yards per snap to go along with three interceptions.

However, The Athletic’s Arif Hasan hasn’t felt encouraged by Sullivan’s preseason performance so far, leading to a tweet that caught Sullivan’s attention.

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‘What Camp You Been Watching’

On August 21, Hasan tweeted that Sullivan “might be the biggest issue for the defense this year.”

Sullivan shared Hasan’s tweet, replying “What Camp You Been Watching Arif?!? I got Time Today .”

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Sullivan was charged up from the critique, going back to an August 14 tweet that questioned his performance against the Las Vegas Raiders. Borrowing from a recent response to criticism from Alexander Mattison, Sullivan replied “Keep This Energy!”

Sullivan Impressed With Packers

While Sullivan has yet to assert himself in Minnesota, the former Packers cornerback made his name known in Green Bay.

Undrafted in 2018, Sullivan spent a year with the Philadelphia Eagles between the 53-man roster and the practice squad. He made the Packers’ 53-man roster in 2019 and played in 16 games before becoming a starter in the slot for the 2020 season.

Sullivan saved his best performance for last in Green Bay when Jaire Alexander suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4. Sullivan stepped up, setting a career-high three interceptions and added four passes defensed and two tackles for losses.

Sullivan earned the second-highest cornerback grade by Packer Central for Green Bay’s secondary.

“It seems the front office will always be trying to replace him, but the coaches can’t keep him out of the lineup. According to PFF, 31 defensive backs played at least 170 snaps in the slot. In that group, he finished fourth in snaps per reception, third in snaps per target and 10th in yards per snap. SIS charged him with a 61.4 percent completion rate. He misses too many tackles, which leads to too many yards after the catch. It’s worth noting Sullivan, who is headed toward free agency, has played every game in his three seasons with the Packers,” Packer Central reporter Bill Huber wrote in February.

Sullivan followed one of his coaches to Minnesota, signing a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Vikings to reunite with Mike Pettine. Pettine was the Packers defensive coordinator from 2018 to 2020. He was hired as an assistant coach under Kevin O’Connell in the spring.

But whether Sullivan was propped up by his teammates in the secondary remains to be seen. Pro Football Focus ranked Green Bay’s secondary the fourth-best unit in the league entering the 2022 season.

Sullivan is poised to start in nickel packages with Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler along the boundaries. Nate Hairston appears to be next in line for slot corner snaps after following defensive coordinator Ed Donatell to Minnesota. He spent the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos.

Second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr. and fifth-rounder Akayleb Evans are both versatile corners who could play both spots but have taken more reps at outside corner so far at Vikings training camp.

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