After Walruses, Thumbs are my second favorite breed of football coach. There are variations to the NFL thumb, but generally you know a thumb when you see one. The rule of thumb is generally bald or extremely close to bald, large so that the neck almost or exceeds the width of the head, and a goatee. Basically, if you held your thumb up, drew two eyes and a goatee on it, you could then say “look, it’s ____!”, that guy is a thumb.

I think Cardinals GM Steve Keim is the prototypical thumb, but there are many good thumbs out there. Tom Cable is a great thumb. Mike Pettine is an angry thumb. Gus Bradley is a bit too thin and I always waffle back and forth on whether he is a true thumb, but he will probably pack on some pounds as he ages so he’s so close to thumbing out. While I do default to the “bald, goatee, fat” as the guiding principals, there are easily ways to bend those rules. James Bettcher, the Giants DC, has hair, but one look at the guy and you know he just belongs. Andy Heck, the Chiefs O-line coach, doesn’t have a goatee, but he also feels like a thumb.

Thumbs feel like o-line coaches. Many of them aren’t. Some are even defensive guys. Hell, possibly the best unknown thumb in the league right now is Browns strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus. Look at the glory of this thumb. And yes, to find out about Mr. Evan Marcus, I did indeed google search every single coaching staff in search for thumbs. I ended up writing down about 30, but I could have done more. I narrowed this comic down to the 10 I thought most people would recognize, plus Broncos LB coach Ryan Herring, because goddamn look at this thumb. Really though, is anyone going to recognize Derek Frazier? No, you wouldn’t, because that wasn’t actually a picture of Derek Frazier. That was a picture of 49ers assistant OL Coach Zach Yenser. This is what Jets Assistant OL Coach Derek Frazier actually looks like.

Who are your favorite NFL thumbs? I’ve limited myself to coaches, but some players and former coaches certainly fit the bill. Maybe if we get enough thumbs going I will make an NFL thumb bracket and we can vote on the best thumbs.