Dan Patrick: “Are you being included in conversations as a sounding board of who should be USC’s next head coach?”
Carson Palmer: “I’ve been talking to a bunch of folks and giving input here and there. I’ve been as involved as they’ll let me be.”
DP: “Is James Franklin the front-runner as I’ve reported?”
Carson: “I think there’s a lot of front-runners right now and that’s why I like where we’re sitting… You’ve got Penn State, you’ve got Iowa State, Cincinnati, you’ve got a wild card like Mike Tomlin. If Mike Tomlin wants out…at the end of the day there’s not a direct ‘that’s the guy everyone’s pointing their fingers at’. There’s a lot of great options.”
DP: “Has Mike Tomlin been discussed??”
Carson: “I’m sure he has, I think anybody is a potential candidate right now and that’s what’s so great about the job, is it can lure an NFL guy in who is tired of their current situation and worried about ‘is Ben Roethlisberger gone? Is he done? Who are we going to draft? Does Mike Tomlin have to start over with a first round rookie quarterback?’ Everybody is on the table being that that job is so big and so coveted. There’s a bunch of people that are in the discussion, and once we get to Week 16 or 17 of the NFL season and the college football season is over, we will have a direct front-runner.”
DP: “Wow, that’s pretty spicy with Mike Tomlin there.”
Carson: “Is that the first you’ve heard of that?”
Carson: “Uh oh, oops!”
Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer went on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday dishing on the Southern Cal head coaching opening, going viral in the process when he mentioned Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin as a potential ‘front-runner’ for the job.
Palmer told DP he’s been involved on some level in the USC head coach hiring process, admitting that a list of candidates at this time involves coaches from Penn State (James Franklin), Iowa State (Matt Campbell), Cincinnati (Luke Fickell), and even offered up Tomlin’s name as a ‘wild card.’
Tomlin is 49 years old and has been in the NFL since 2001, but spent time at VMI as the wide receivers coach in 1995, was a graduate assistant at Memphis in 1996, was the wide receivers coach at Arkansas State in 1997, and then became the defensive backs coach there from 1999-2000.
Tomlin attended William and Mary and was once a teammate to Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
Although Tomlin has won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2008, the team has won just three playoffs games since losing the Super Bowl to the Packers in 2010, and those victories were over quarterbacks the likes of AJ McCarron, Alex Smith, and Matt Moore.
With the franchise’s uncertain future surrounding Ben Roethlisberger, a seemingly washed-up 39-year-old playing on this last legs in 2021, Palmer speculates Tomlin could jump ship on a sinking Steelers vessel with no real solution at quarterback, barring a hail mary move to acquire Aaron Rodgers.
Check out the full interview above as Palmer seems non-committed to actually proclaiming Tomlin as a legitimate candidate, but at the same time seems regretful to have leaked Tomlin’s name in such a public appearance, leading many to speculate if it was a secret he shouldn't have shared outloud.