Caption: Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp was died last week after being hit by a driver while riding a bike in California (306925)
Credit: Denver Broncos photo

The Jets, with a new head coach Robert Saleh and rookie franchise quarterback hopeful Zack Wilson ready to take the helm, are looking to elevate the organization from a consistent loser into a regular playoff contender. They opened training camp this week at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, in Florham, New Jersey, with fans once again allowed to attend after COVID-19 caused a league-wide ban last summer.

Wilson, the Jets’ top pick in April’s draft, selected No. 2 overall from Brigham Young University, was not with his new teammates when they reported on Tuesday––his contract is still being finalized. Also sadly missing was assistant coach Greg Knapp, an offensive/quarterback specialist hired in January, who tragically passed away last Thursday due to injuries sustained from being hit by a car while riding his bike earlier in the week near his home in San Ramon, California. Knapp was rendered unconscious and remained comatose until his death.

“He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way,” said Saleh in a statement. “In his short time here, I believe the people in this organization had a chance to experience that connection. Greg, thank you for all that you have shared with us, you will be missed brother.”

Knapp, 58, a husband and father of three daughters, was on the NFL rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs, then Los Angeles Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, from 1986 to 1994, during the offseason or as a practice squad player. At the same time, he began 33 consecutive years as a coach, beginning in 1986 at his alma mater, Sacramento State, where he played quarterback. There he held three positions during his nine years on the staff, first as the running backs coach, then as the wide receivers coach before advancing to Sacramento State’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. His first NFL job was as the San Francisco 49ers offensive quality control coach.

Knapp was a member of the Denver Broncos staff that won the Super Bowl to cap off the 2015-16 season. He was the QB coach for the Atlanta Falcons from 2018-20 before joining the Jets specifically to work with Wilson. The Jets last made the playoffs in 2010 and over the past five seasons are 5-11, 5-11, 4-12, 7-9 and 2-14.