The Jets are commencing training camp just days after the tragic death of pass game specialist Greg Knapp.
Following a bike crash that led Greg Knapp to be hospitalized and in critical condition, the Jets pass game specialist passed away last Thursday. Knapp was 58 years old and widely respected throughout the NFL, having worked with seven different teams from 1995-2021.
The Jets begin training camp in Florham Park this week without Knapp, whom they had just hired this offseason. While speaking with the media Tuesday, head coach Robert Saleh addressed the horrific situation.
“It’s an absolute tragedy,” Saleh said, per Ethan Greenberg of the team’s official website. “Knowing Knapper, he’d be really upset if we didn’t move on with a positive attitude. He was a tremendous man, a tremendous leader, father, a tremendous husband, and he’s going to be sorely missed, but as far as the group and this team, there’s been a lot of tremendous support from not only within the organization, but outside the organization. I know that he’ll be with us throughout this entire season.”
Knowing Knapp’s resume and experience in this league as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, he was to be great for rookie signal-caller Zach Wilson. The No. 2 overall pick will need all the help he can get in order to efficiently and effectively develop.
Offensive guard Greg Van Roten additionally spoke on the tragedy Tuesday.
“Initially when it happened, I heard there was an accident and you hope for the best,” Van Roten said. “It was very vague details as to what happened. Then I talked to [offensive coordinator Mike] LaFleur and he let me know he wasn’t going to make it. He said that and I was so shocked and numb because Greg was a guy that you didn’t have to be around him long to know he was a special person. He did have this light that he let shine that just attracted people to him.
“He’s someone you can tell, just during the short time we were together during OTAs, that he never had a bad day. He wasn’t someone that let circumstances dictate his attitude. I wish I had more time with him. I’m sure everybody does. It was a tragedy. I just feel terrible for his family and all his friends and loved ones. It just sucks. There’s nothing you can really do or say to help it. It’s just something that happens in life and it’s something you have to take a positive away from or else it’ll just drive you crazy otherwise.”