Jets approve of 'Sons of Anarchy' nickname

Fans are calling Jets D-linemen Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison the "Sons of Anarchy." Getty Images

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."