New York Jets: sons of anarchy

Jets approve of 'Sons of Anarchy' nickname

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
7:15
PM ET
Sheldon Richardson, Muhammed Wilkerson, Damon HarrisonGetty ImagesFans are calling Jets D-linemen Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison the "Sons of Anarchy."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- There are differing versions of how the New York Jets' trio of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Damon "Snacks" Harrison found out that fans had dubbed them "Sons of Anarchy" for their dominating play and last names that all end in "son."

Richardson claims Harrison brought it up before a meeting started, eliciting laughter from the group. Harrison, meanwhile, believes it was the rookie who first showed his fellow defensive lineman on Twitter that the popular FX show had become a new moniker for the group.

No matter which version is true, one thing's certain: They like the nickname.

"It's pretty cool, I guess. It's fun. I'm OK with anything," Richardson said. "As long as they call me by my name, I'm cool with it."

Said Harrison: "Yeah, it's a cool name."

The Jets' defensive front has been as menacing as any in football this year. They are first in the NFL against the run, allowing just 73.8 yards per game, and have registered 27 sacks, tied for 11th in the league. The pressure from the defensive line has been a main reason why the Jets are playing defense the way coach Rex Ryan wants and expects his team to.

Since the nickname only references those three players, Wilkerson said it leaves out other key contributors on the defense, including current outside linebacker Quinton Coples, who switched from the defensive line to linebacker in the offseason. Wilkerson said while Coples may have switched positions, they know he's still a defensive lineman at heart.

Both Wilkerson and Harrison, while appreciating the fans' work, were quick to say they don't get too caught up in nicknames.

"It's cool -- I like it -- but we don't need a nickname," Wilkerson said. "We have to make a name for ourselves before we create a nickname."

Added Harrison: "I don't really get too much into it. The fans will be fans. They can come up with whatever name they want to. As for us, we don't really feed into it. We'll always just be the New York Jets defensive line. I encourage them to come up with their own names, to keep them interactive with us."

Fans name D-line the 'Sons of Anarchy'

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
3:11
PM ET
Sheldon Richardson, Muhammed Wilkerson, Damon HarrisonGetty ImagesFans are calling Jets D-linemen Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison the "Sons of Anarchy."
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.”

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.

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.

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