It’s still hard to believe that Greg Knapp is no longer with us.
The long-time NFL coach who most recently took the passing game specialist role with the New York Jets in 2021, tragically passed away due to injuries suffered in a bicycle accident.
“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards,” Gang Green coach Robert Saleh said via an official statement. “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.”
Despite only working together for a handful of months, Knapp’s impact on the team during that short time was obvious based on the reaction via social media.
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A Large Outpouring of Love and Support
Knapp was hired back in January and got a few opportunities to work with the team in rookie minicamp, offseason training activities, and mandatory minicamp this offseason.
During that time he built a special rapport with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson who he called at the time a “quick study.”
Throughout his storied career, Knapp got the opportunity to work with some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history: Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Steve Young, and Matt Ryan.
From people close to him, he was super excited to work with the young 21-year old gunslinger from BYU this season.
The feeling was certainly mutual as Wilson took to social media to share the kind of impact Knapp had on him saying, “Man this is hard. Huge impact on my life in only a few months. Love you, coach Knapper!”
Rookie running back Michael Carter shared a perspective that we can all resonate with after the shocking passing of Knapp at just 58 years of age, “hug ya love ones tight.”
We should never take life for granted because it can be taken away at a moment’s notice. You never know when God is going to call your number, so enjoy the ride.
This is a fitting quote from Knapp that we should all take to heart, “Live every day as if it’s your last, and love those around you like it won’t last!”
Among those that commented on social media and shared statements was Jets owner Woody Johnson who had this to say:
“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.”
This One Is for Coach!
This is still such a fresh wound with a coach that was expected to be a major cog in this offensive coaching staff for the Jets.
After washing out the old regime, there was a lot of hype and positivity with a new group that featured both old (Knapp) and new (Mike LaFleur).
Several members of the Jets openly stated on social media that they’re going to dedicate this 2021 Jets season to Knapper.
Gang Green wideout asked Knapp to “watch over us coach” because “we gone hold it down big dawg.”
While Jets’ star offensive tackle Mekhi Becton went a step further saying he promises to “do all the things we talked about” this season.
This team was already motivated by a variety of factors heading into 2021: doubters outside the organization, a new regime, and “the same old Jets” moniker.
Now their motivations go well beyond football, it’s about honoring their coach.
The team on its’ own will likely come up with a slew of ideas to honor coach Knapp during the season likely including a decal on the helmets, a moment of silence at the first home game (Week 2 vs the New England Patriots), and a possible patch has all been mentioned as a possibility on social media.