This is an incredibly difficult article to sit down and write. The New York Jets and NFL community suffered a tragic loss late last month. 25-year veteran coach Greg Knapp died from injuries following a bicycling accident.
During his coaching career, Knapp worked with seven different NFL franchises. He always worked on the offensive side of the ball, ranging in role from quality control to quarterbacks to offensive coordinator. He most recently joined the New York Jets’ new coaching staff under Robert Saleh as a passing game specialist.
Prior to his passing, Knapp clearly made an impact on everyone he encountered and worked with. And that includes the New York Jets.
Knapper’s Impact on the Jets
Through what fellow coaches and his players have said in the last week, Greg Knapp clearly made an impact on everyone he came into contact with. He illuminated every room he walked into. He showed those around him not just how to play the game, but also to love the life that came along with it.
Coach Knapp’s positivity about, well, anything and everything pervaded his work life. Saleh talked about how disappointed Knapp would be in the team if they didn’t continue their work with a positive mindset at the start of training camp.
A handful of Jets players were asked and can be quoted on their short, but impactful relationship with Knapp. Even after just experiencing him for OTAs, star left tackle Mekhi Becton made it known how much Knapp meant to him. Becton told a story of how Knapp would see Becton and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams working out during OTAs. Knapp would give the pair a list of goals to reach this season. Becton said that both players plan on hitting those goals for Knapp.
Another Jets’ offensive lineman, Greg Van Roten, talked about how bright of a presence Knapp was. Van Roten said that Knapp never had a bad day, and it was obvious. Knapp never let what was going on around him affect his attitude, and he instilled that in players throughout his career.
Knapp’s most recent quarterback project comes in the form of Jets’ rookie Zach Wilson. Wilson was clear in his respect and admiration for Knapp, saying how shocking Knapp’s death was. Wilson learned a lot from Knapp in their time working together, even if it was limited.
Knapp didn’t have much time with the Jets, but his impact will surely be felt across the organization. He brought life and energy into everything he did, and that type of impact is lasting. The team is set to wear a GK on their helmets in remembrance, and players are set to have a successful season, an even more fitting tribute to Coach Knapp.