The entire football world is in mourning after the tragic death of New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp. The 58-year-old tactician succumbed to his injuries five days after being involved in a bicycle crash.
His family released a statement saying Knapp “was called back home to Heaven, where he will be reunited with his Dad.” They also left a poignant message, saying, “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!'”
Bicycle incident ends Knapp’s storied career
According to the San Ramon Police Department, Knapp collided with a single motorist on Saturday in California while riding his bicycle. Authorities have said after a preliminary investigation that they do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were factors in the unfortunate incident.
Knapp was a well-loved and well-traveled coach who started his NFL coaching career as a low-level offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers in 1997. He made his way up the ranks and spent ten seasons as an offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, and the Oakland Raiders.
Knapp made a name for himself, however, as a premier quarterbacks coach in the league. He helped the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl in the 2015 season as the coach of Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Knapp spent four seasons there as the QB coach before moving to the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 for the same position.
Saleh and Blank pay tribute to Knapp
Knapp was about to begin a new chapter as the Jets’ passing-game specialist after new head coach Robert Saleh hired him. He was only days away from flying to New Jersey to begin his new job with the Jets, who were just starting their training camp.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) July 22, 2021
Saleh posted a statement via Twitter about Knapp’s passing, saying, “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.”
Saleh said that Knapp, even with his short time with the Jets, already connected with people in the Jets organization. He concluded his statement by saying, “Greg, thank you for all that you have shared with us, you will be missed brother.”
Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons owner, and Knapp’s former boss, also offered his sincere condolences. He said Knapp was not only “a tremendous football coach who achieved at the highest levels of our game” but was also “a wonderful person who had the love, admiration and respect of those who were blessed to work with him.”
Knapp, an avid bicyclist, died at 2:32 p.m. ET on Thursday, surrounded by his mother, wife, three daughters, and brother.
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