Shock and condolences are flooding in for New York Jets assistant Greg Knapp who died Thursday after being involved in a bicycle crash last week.
CNN reported the coach was in a single-vehicle collision on Saturday in San Ramon, California. Police said they do not suspect drugs or alcohol played a factor in the wreck. And they said the driver of the car is cooperating with the investigation.
Knapp was 58 years old.
Greg Knapp was considered something of a quarterback whisperer during his 27 years in the NFL. He worked as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, and the then-Oakland Raiders. Though, he ultimately won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning and the Broncos in 2015.
But one of his earliest assignments was to polish a rough-around-the-edges playmaker out of Virginia Tech, who analysts said would either revolutionize the game or flame out. That was Michael Vick, and, somehow, he did both.
Vick posted on Twitter Friday that Greg Knapp had a “profound impact” on his life.
Vick also told NJ.com he has the Superman logo tattooed on his hand because Knapp nicknamed him “Super.”
“I wasn’t Mike, I wasn’t Michael. I was Super. That was our special bond. I can hear him now in my head: ‘Nice throw, Super. Good job, Super.’ Plenty of times, over and over again,” Vick said. “That meant a lot moving forward in my life.”
Family of Greg Knapp: ‘Live Everyday as Your Last’
Vick was far from the only former player or coach Knapp who worked with to offer their condolences.
Falcon’s owner Authur Blank released a statement calling him a “wonderful person.” Jets chairman Woody Johnson said Greg Knapp left an “indelibly positive impact” on everyone who met him. The Houston Texans offered Knapp’s surviving wife and children their deepest condolences.
His family released a statement saying they were devastated but hoped people could learn from this.
“Those of us who were so blessed to have known him, know that he would have wanted even this moment to be a teachable one,” the statement reads. “So this is it…’Live every day as if it’s your last, and love those around you like it won’t last!'”
Jets coach Robert Saleh said in a statement that “… Greg had such an inner peace about him that people always seemed to gravitate towards. He lived life in a loving way that helped him connect with people from all walks of life in a unique way.”
While it seems trivial now, the Jets drafted quarterback Zach Wilson out of Brigham Young University with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Vick said it’s a shame that Wilson won’t get Knapp’s guidance.
“I think throughout all his years and all his experience, the things that he could have helped Zach Wilson with, and just in short term being a young quarterback, you learn so much from Greg,” Michael Vick told NJ.com. “I was telling a friend on the golf course how savvy he was in knowing the West Coast system. He spent years studying and being serious about his profession and moved on and coached a lot of different offenses. The knowledge that he had, everybody had success when he was around.”