New York Jets assistant coach Greg Knapp died on Thursday after being seriously injured when he was struck by a car while riding his bike earlier in the week.

Knapp, 58, had been hired in the offseason to work with the Jets’ top pick — already expected to be a quarterback. The Jets ended up picking BYU signal caller Zach Wilson and Knapp was expected to be critical in his development as a pro.

“Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards,” head coach Robert Saleh said on the Jets’ website. “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.”

Knapp was hit while riding his bike in San Ramon, California, near San Francisco, on Saturday just before 3 p.m. The San Ramon Police Department said the driver, a 22-year-old, stayed on the scene, cooperated with investigators and drugs or alcohol did not appear to be a contributing factor. An investigation is ongoing, police said.

He was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, California, where he died Thursday.

The assistant had spent time with Wilson at minicamp in June and praised how quickly he was picking up the playbook.

“You’ve got to expect mistakes from anyone who’s starting for the the first time — in any profession, for that matter,” Knapp told reporters. “And I’m seeing very minimal same mistakes twice. So he learns quickly from his mistakes and that’s impressive to see from a young guy. He’s a big-time student of the game.”

PHOTO: In this Aug. 4, 2016, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp watches during NFL football training camp in Englewood, Colo.

“Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would’ve wanted even this moment to be a teachable one,” Knapp’s family said in a statement. “So this is it … ‘Live every day as if it’s your last, and love those around you like it won’t last.'”

“He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were,” it concluded.

Knapp had been in the NFL since 1997 when he was hired by the San Francisco 49ers to be an offensive quality control coach. He was with the Niners through 2003 when he was offensive coordinator. He moved to the Atlanta Falcons to work with Michael Vick. He also worked with Matt Schaub in Houston as quarterbacks coach in 2010. He won Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos in 2016.

In total, Knapp worked for seven different teams in his career, including four as offensive coordinator. Before being hired by the Jets he was quarterbacks coach with the Falcons — his second stint with the team — for two seasons.

“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 owner Arthur Blank said in a statement.

Knapp played football in college at Sacramento State and spent several years in the NFL as a practice squad and preseason player. He never played in a regular season game.

Source: Read Full Article