- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN New York Writer
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Where the nickname started, we’re not exactly certain. But we like it. And we’re looking to give credit to its creator.
During our brief research, we found the nickname on several message boards, the earliest dated Sept. 16, when someone with the handle “MetsJetsFTW” posted it on the fieldchatter.com.
The poster, who has to be a Jets fan given the NSFW slogan that appears under his handle, wrote: “Harrison, Richardson and Wilkerson all have names that end in ‘son,’ plus they’re all destructive beasts like the biker gang in the show. I’m suggesting that we call our D-line the Sons of Anarchy.”
On Twitter, someone with the handle @NYS_G tweeted to Deadspin that his friend @MANIMALJOICE created the nickname. He tweeted, “Hey @mowilkerSON, @BigDame900 and @Godforshort - How about this nickname for y’all? SONS OF ANARCHY - since all your names end with ‘Son’.” That tweet came on Sept. 23, though.
Hey @mowilkerSON, @BigDame900 and @Godforshort - How about this nickname for y'all? SONS OF ANARCHY - since all your names end with 'Son'.
— NYsportsGUY (@NYS_G) September 23, 2013
But perhaps the coolest thing we found was a yardbarker.com post on Sept. 18, which showed Jets coach Rex Ryan wearing a Sons of Anarchy T-shirt while posing for a photo with a fan.
Maybe Rex came up with the nickname. If not, we’re sure he’d approve.
In the meantime, enjoy the havoc being caused by “The Sons of Anarchy” themselves.
The Jets currently rank first against the run, allowing just 73.8 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry.
All three members -- or “-sons” -- of the trio are homegrown.
Wilkerson, 24, the team’s first-round pick in 2011 out of Temple, has 8.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. At this rate, he’s going to be Pro Bowl-bound.
Harrison, 24, joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent last season. The William Penn product has 32 tackles and a sack.
Richardson, 22, was drafted with the pick the Jets received in exchange for All-Pro Darrelle Revis. The No. 13 overall selection out of Missouri has 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
UPDATE 1: Thanks to a response from @DvdVill via Twitter, we may have tracked this down. DvdVill referred us to a post over at ganggreennation.com. Following the Jets’ 24-21 preseason victory over the New York Giants on Aug. 24, user “WadeBoggsNeverWalkedAgain” wrote: “The ‘sons Of Anarchy... Wilkerson, Richardson & Harrison look damn good!”
UPDATE 2: Sounds like the “-sons” know about their nickname. We received a tweet from “@Jets_Memes” with the following information: “We made a Sons of Anarchy Meme that Jets Defensive Lineman Coach ... made his twitter profile picture and shared with them”
Jets_Memes said the meme was posted on Oct. 10. Karl Dunbar, the team’s defensive line coach, ended up favoriting the tweet from his private Twitter account, seemingly confirming it happened.
The New York Jets’ young and impressive defensive line -- composed of Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson -- is being called the "Sons of Anarchy.