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HC Robert Saleh, Jets Players React to Passing of Greg Knapp

G Greg Van Roten Says Passing-Game Specialist Was ‘a Special Person'


Jets passing-game specialist Greg Knapp, 58, died last week after succumbing to injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in Northern California.

"It's an absolute tragedy," head coach Robert Saleh said. "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."

Knapp was entering his 26th NFL season as a coach, with that had stops in San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, Houston, Seattle and Denver. In just a few months working with the Green & White, he made an impact on his new players.

"Initially when it happened, I heard there was an accident and you hope for the best," G Greg Van Roten said. "It was very vague details as to what happened. Then I talked to coach 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."

Van Roten's fellow offensive linemen Mekhi Becton added: "He meant a lot to us. It hurt us pretty well. He meant a whole lot. Me and Q [Quinnen Williams] would be in the weight room and every day he could come in there and tell goals to do and what we need to do for the season. I feel like me and Q are going to do our best to fulfill those goals and we're going to do it for him."

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