Tragedy has struck the New York Jets and the organization as Greg Knapp, the newly-installed pass game specialist for 2021, has passed away from injuries sustained after he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle last Saturday. Knapp was reportedly riding his bicycle when he was struck by a vehicle, per Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver (Knapp’s agent also confirmed the news to Klis of his sudden passing). Knapp was in critical condition for several days.
New York Jets chairman Woody Johnson released a statement on Knapp’s passing.
“In his short time with us, Greg had an immediate influence on those who had the pleasure of spending the smallest amount of time with him. His legacy is not only working with some of the brightest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but the countless others across this world he has had an indelibly positive influence on.”
The Knapp family also released a statement (via the Jets).
“Today at 11:32 am PST, Greg Knapp (aka Knapper) was called back home to Heaven, where he will be reunited with his Dad.
“On Saturday, July 17th, 2021, Greg was struck by a car while riding his bicycle, and was rendered unconscious immediately. Greg never regained consciousness. He was surrounded by his mom, his wife, his 3 daughters, and his brother.
“Greg spent 33 years coaching football, the first 9 at Sacramento State (where he also played QB) and the next 24 years in the NFL as an Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach. He coached hundreds of players, including: Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Rick Mirer, Matt Schaub, Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, and most recently Zach Wilson.
“Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one. So this is it…’Live every day as if it’s your last, and love those around you like it won’t last!'”
“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him. 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.
“While his family, friends, and players still had so much to learn from him and desperately wished they had 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!”
Head coach Robert Saleh also released a statement.
“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards. 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.”
Prior to joining the Jets this offseason, Knapp served as quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons, having also held that role for several NFL teams prior — including winning a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos — over the course of a longstanding professional coaching career that includes stints as offensive coordinator as well.
Knapp is survived by his wife, Charlotte, three daughters, Jordan, Natalie and Camille, and his brother.