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New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp dies from injuries suffered in bike accident

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New York Jets assistant Greg Knapp, a well-traveled NFL coach who labored with Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young and soon-to-be-inducted Peyton Manning over his 25-year profession, died Thursday from injuries suffered when he was struck by a automotive whereas biking final Saturday in San Ramon, California. He was 58.

The affable Knapp, recognized for his experience with quarterbacks, was solely days away from flying to New Jersey to start his first season because the Jets’ passing-game specialist below new coach Robert Saleh. The Jets’ rookies reported Tuesday to coaching camp.

“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards,” Saleh mentioned in an announcement posted to Twitter. “He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way.

“In his quick time right here, I consider the individuals in his group had an opportunity to expertise that connection. Greg, thanks for all that you’ve got shared with us, you’ll be missed brother”

Greg Knapp, who established himself as one of the league’s top offensive-minded coaches and worked with star quarterbacks Steve Young and Peyton Manning over his 25-year career, died Thursday at 58. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hired in January, Knapp made “real connections with all of our coaches, gamers and workers,” said Saleh, who described him as having “a enjoyable nature, form disposition, and (a) wealth of data.”

An avid bicyclist, Knapp was hit by a single motorist at about 2:49 p.m., not far from his home in Danville, San Ramon police said. The driver of the vehicle, whose name is being withheld, wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, according to police.

“Those of us who have been so blessed to have recognized him, know that he would have needed even this second to be a teachable one,” the family said in a statement. “So that is it…’Live every single day as if it is your final, and love these round you prefer it will not final!’

The household mentioned in the assertion that Knapp died at 2:32 p.m. EDT, 5 days after being struck by a automotive whereas using his bicycle in the San Francisco Bay Area and by no means regaining consciousness.

He was surrounded by his mom, spouse, three daughters and his brother when he died.

“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him,” the household mentioned. “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 household, associates and gamers nonetheless had a lot to study from him and desperately wished they’d extra time with him, God referred to as an audible and needed to go over the sport plan instantly with him. It will definitely be a masterpiece, similar to Greg!”

Knapp started his NFL teaching profession in 1997 as a low-level offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. He cast a decent bond with Young, and the 2 remained shut. Knapp additionally coached for the Atlanta Falcons (two stints), Oakland Raiders (two stints), Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, both because the quarterbacks coach or the offensive coordinator.

“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,” Falcons proprietor Arthur Blank wrote in an announcement on Twitter. “Rest In Peace, Greg Knapp.”

“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.” – Arthur Blank

Rest In Peace, Greg Knapp. pic.twitter.com/aEJJiTliQb

— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) July 22, 2021

Jets chairman Robert Wood Johnson additionally issued an announcement on Knapp’s demise.

“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,” the assertion reads. “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.”

In addition to Manning and Young, Knapp helped tutor quarterbacks Michael Vick, Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan. His profession spotlight was the 2015 season, when he was a member of the Super Bowl-winning workers with the Broncos in Manning’s last season.

The Jets employed Knapp to preside over their three younger quarterbacks. His job, he defined final month at minicamp, was to be “the voice in the quarterback room,” which incorporates extremely touted rookie Zach Wilson.

Knapp referred to as it an thrilling problem to coach three inexperienced quarterbacks, noting his ardour for instructing. He mentioned he received that from his dad and mom, each of whom are academics.

“It’s invigorating for me,” Knapp mentioned.

Knapp was well-respected throughout the league. Young, an unofficial adviser to Wilson and his household through the pre-draft course of, instructed ESPN in a latest interview that Knapp’s presence on the Jets’ workers was a “huge plus” for Wilson.

“I told his dad, Mike Wilson: If I had a son and I needed him to be coached and taken care of in a way that helps him play better football, I’d want Greg to be part of it,” Young mentioned.

Knapp, born in Long Beach, California, performed school ball at Sacramento State. He by no means appeared in an NFL recreation, however he hung out on the Raiders, 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs’ rosters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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