Greg Knapp, an assistant coach for the New York Jets who joined the team in January, died on Thursday after suffering severe injuries from a bike accident in California, the team announced. He was 58 years old. The accident happened on Saturday as Knapp was struck by a car. He was a member of the Jets' new coaching staff led by head coach Robert Saleh.
"Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards," Saleh said. "He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way. In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization had a chance to experience that connection."
RIP, Knapper.— New York Jets (@nyjets) July 22, 2021
Knapp was brought in to be the Jets' passing game specialist. The team drafted quarterback Zach Wilson No. 2 overall in April, and Knapp was getting ready to guide him as he has worked with All-Pro quarterbacks throughout his entire NFL career.
"I've had both extremes. I've had the veteran guys in Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning and Steve Young, and I've had some young guys, Knapp told reporters last month. "What's really cool for me is, 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. And they're getting it, they're learning. It's pretty exciting and it's invigorating for me, I'll be honest with you. I enjoy it a lot."
Before joining the Jets, Knapp was the quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons for three years. It was his second stint with the Falcons as he spent time with the team from 2004-2006 as the team's offensive coordinator. When the Falcons learned the news, owner Arthur Blank released a statement.
"He was a tremendous football coach who achieved at the highest levels of our game, but more importantly he was a wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect of those who were blessed to work with him," Blank said. Knapp started his NFL coaching career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 and worked his way up to the team's offensive coordinator in 2001. He also spent time with the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos where he won a Super Bowl as the team's quarterbacks coach in 2015.