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It was a horrible tragedy and a staggering blow to everybody in the building.
The passing of Gregg Knapp is devasting to everyone at One Jets Drive, players, coaches and so forth.
Because not only was he a heck of a coach, but a special guy. When you lose certain people, it hits even harder, because they were truly beloved by all those they touched.
Knapp was that kind of guy.
“Greg’s infectious personality is most people’s first and lasting memory of him. The phrase ‘He never met a stranger’ encapsulates Knapper’s zest for life. He had a unique gift to make everyone feel special, and to Knapper, they all were.” – The Knapp Family in a statement.
So that really makes this even more devastating to the Jets’ players and coaches.
So how do they overcome this?
“Our identity is not going to reveal itself until we see adversity,” said Robert Saleh on June 17 at the end of the team’s minicamp.
Obviously, he had no idea Knapp would be tragically killed in a bike accident. This is WAY beyond regular football adversity like injuries and last second losses. WAY beyond all of that – this is real life adversity.
“What’s going to happen when you hit adversity, when things aren’t going your way? How are you going to look, not only as an individual but as a team? Those moments have to reveal themselves,” Saleh said, also on June 17.
The Jets open training camp on July 27.
They have to find a way to overcome this unspeakable tragedy.
Knapp was the man tutoring Zach Wilson the most. They were attached at the hip all spring.
So Wilson has lost the man who’s job was develop him. So not only did he lose his personal Jets tutor, but a man he grew very fond of.
“Man this is hard. Huge impact in my life in only a few months. Love you Coach Knapper,” tweeted Zach Wilson.
The Jets do have a quarterback coach, Rob Calabrese, but Knapp was really the QB coach, and Calabrese was his assistant.
Calabrese is only 31, and has only had the title of “QB coach” at two places before One Jets Drive, Oviedo High School in Florida (2013), and Wagner College on Staten Island (2017-18). The last two years he was a quality control coach with the Denver Broncos.
Is he ready to be Wilson’s full-time QB coach? Are the Jets prepared to give him the assignment of being the main tutor of their prized rookie?
We will see. By all accounts, Calabrese is extremely bright, and the arrow is pointing up on him as a coach, but is he ready for this huge assignment?
Granted, Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur will be very hands on with the QB, but he also has an entire offense to lead.
Here is an idea, and I’m just throwing it out there. How about hiring John Beck for the season, a former NFL QB, who Wilson worked with leading up to the draft?
But none of that is important right now considering the tragic news about Knapp, but with camp starting next Tuesday (and the rookies have already reported), the Jets need to find the strength to carry on.
July 23, 2021
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