Sunday, September 19

New York Jets coach Greg Knapp dies after being hit by a car in California | NFL


New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp died Thursday from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car while riding a bike near his home in California. He was 58 years old.

“Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) was called back home to Heaven where he will be reunited with his dad,” his family said in a statement. His family added that Knapp never regained consciousness after being hit by a car in the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday. He was surrounded by his wife Charlotte, his daughters Jordan, Natalie and Camille, his mother and his brother when he died.

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

“While his family, friends and players still had a lot to learn from him and desperately wanted more time with him, God called an audible and wanted to go over the game plan directly with him. It will certainly be a masterpiece, just like Greg! “

Knapp, who lived in Danville, California, was hired by the Jets in January as part of new coach Robert Saleh’s staff as a passing specialist.

“Losing a loved one is always a challenge, but it is more difficult when it is completely unexpected,” Saleh said in a statement released by the team. “Charlotte, Jordan, Natalie and Camille, please accept our condolences. Greg had such an inner peace that people always seemed to gravitate towards her. He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way. In your brief time here, I think the people of this organization had the opportunity to experience that connection.

“Greg, thank you for everything you have shared with us. We will miss you, brother. “

Among Knapp’s primary roles with the Jets was helping develop quarterback Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in this year’s draft.

“Man this is tough,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “Big impact on my life in just a few months. I love you, Coach Knapper. “

Knapp was well loved and respected in NFL circles and established himself as a quarterback guru and one of the league’s best offensive-minded coaches. Other quarterbacks he coached during his career include Steve Young, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.

Several of Knapp’s former teams and players posted tributes and sent condolences to the coach’s family on social media.

“From all-time greats like Peyton Manning to young players just beginning their careers, Greg was a trusted confidant and the very definition of a ‘quarterback whisperer,” the Denver Broncos said in a statement. “More importantly, the connections and friendships he forged with players, coaches and staff, as well as with their families, were genuine and special.”

Knapp was expected to play a key role in helping offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and quarterback coach Rob Calabrese teach and develop Wilson as the 21-year-old quarterback adjusts to NFL life as the likely starter. of the Jets this season.

“His legacy is not only working with some of the brightest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but with the countless others in this world where he has had a positive and indelible influence,” said Jets president Woody. Johnson, in a statement.


www.theguardian.com

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