JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- During a recent gab session among the Jaguars’ offensive lineman, talk turned to where everyone was on Sept. 11, 2001.
"[Luke] Joeckel was in like second or third grade for something and I was like, ‘wow,’" center Brad Meester said. "That was my second year here."
The 36-year-old Meester has been around a long time.
So long, in fact, that he will play in his 200th game when the Jaguars play host to San Diego on Sunday. It will mark his 80th consecutive start, which is the second-longest streak in team history. He also owns the longest, a streak of 92 consecutive starts from 2000-05.
"You know what? Every time I think about how long Brad’s been playing it just blows my mind," said right tackle Austin Pasztor, who won’t turn 23 until next month. "You think about 14 seasons. I haven’t even been playing football for 14 years. It’s an amazing accomplishment."
Especially since Meester has missed just 14 games in his 13-plus seasons, a remarkable show of durability for an offensive lineman.
"I’ve just been thankful to be able to continue doing this," Meester said. "There’s a lot of times you just can’t do it because of the beating that you take on the inside [of the offensive line], but I’ve been lucky enough and blessed enough to stay fairly injury free. The injuries that I had were all minor things that I’ve been able to come back from."
Pasztor said all the younger linemen respect Meester, but that doesn’t mean they hold back on the “old” jokes. Meester doesn’t mind, but sometimes it really illustrates the age difference.
"Some of that stuff is kind of funny," Meester said. "You look back on stuff like that and movies … movies that I think are awesome, they have no idea."