Greg Knapp, a Jets Assistant Coach, Dies at 58

Greg Knapp, the Jets’ passing-game specialist, died on Thursday from injuries suffered in a biking accident in California last weekend. He was 58 years old.

In a statement released through the Jets on Thursday afternoon, Knapp’s family said he was struck by a car on Saturday while riding his bicycle and was immediately rendered unconscious.

“Greg never regained consciousness,” his family said. “He was surrounded by his mom, his wife, his 3 daughters, and his brother.”

Knapp, a California native, joined the staff of the first-year Jets Coach Robert Saleh in January after spending the last three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons as a quarterbacks coach. He had previously been an offensive coordinator in Atlanta from 2004-6.

“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards,” Saleh said in a statement on Twitter, adding, “In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization had a chance to experience that connection.”

During his short time with the Jets, Greg Knapp, also known as Knapper, had been preparing the team’s young quarterbacks, including Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, for the upcoming season.

At last month’s minicamp, Knapp told reporters that he had been enjoying coaching the young quarterback group, which also includes the second-year player James Morgan and the third-year signal caller Mike White, neither of whom has played in an N.F.L. game.

“As I’ve gotten older, I can say, here, from my experiences, I can tell you this because I’ve got enough trial and error on it,” said Knapp, who has coached veteran quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Matt Ryan and Steve Young. “And they’re getting it, they’re learning. It’s pretty exciting and it’s invigorating for me.”

Knapp spent the first nine years of his coaching career at Sacramento State, where he had played quarterback. He was entering his 26th year coaching in the N.F.L. Knapp began with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s and eventually was promoted to quarterbacks coach and then to offensive coordinator in 2001.

In addition to two stints in Atlanta, Knapp made stops in Seattle, Denver, Oakland and Houston either as an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach.

He was the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach when Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns during the 2013 season, both league records at the time, and in the 2015 season when Manning led the team to a Super Bowl win.

Arthur Blank, the Falcons’ owner, was one of many of Knapp’s former colleagues who posted their condolences on social media on Thursday. In a statement on Twitter, Blank said that Knapp was a “wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect” of everyone he worked with.

“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him,” Knapp’s family said. “The phrase ‘He never met a stranger’ encapsulates Knapper’s zest for life. He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were.”

Source: Read Full Article