GREEN BAY – The Packers have played 246 games (including playoffs) since Mason Crosby booted his first NFL kickoff on Sept. 9, 2007.
Remarkably, Green Bay's all-time leading scorer has been on the field for every single game since that day.
Like any NFL franchise, the winds of changes have spun through Green Bay over the past 14 years. There have been stadium renovations, the development of Titletown and thousands of different players, coaches and personnel executives have walked the halls of Lambeau Field.
For all the changes, Crosby and his No. 2 jersey have been a constant for Green Bay – through injuries and adversity, through heartache and sorrow, through rain, sleet, and snow.
At 36 years old, Crosby is showing no signs of slowing down after setting a franchise record for single-season field-goal accuracy when he made all 16 of his attempts last season.
"I'm excited to be entering Year 15 and pursuing another championship," Crosby said. "For me, it's trying to do it at a high level as long as I possibly can, so as long as my mind, my body and I get excited to come in this building, I'm not gonna call it quits. So I'm gonna just keep preparing, keep trying to be the best version of me every time I come out here."
Crosby not only is the Packers' all-time leading scorer with 1,682 points, but he also ranks 20th all-time in NFL history. His ironman streak – currently at 224 consecutive regular-season games played – is the longest among all active players and five full seasons ahead of the next closest kicker (Baltimore's Justin Tucker, 144).
Crosby uses terms like process, routine and focus to describe how a kid from Georgetown, Texas, has managed to continue kicking at the game's highest level. While Crosby has had good fortune with his health, it's also not a total coincidence.
Crosby has slowly altered his training regimen in the offseason. As he's gotten older, he has learned to pace himself more through the winter and spring. Oh, there's also another big change since his rookie year.
"Well, I have a lot more kids. The kids keep me busy," smiled Crosby, a father of five. "Just kind of my process, I push it back a little further. Take that time after the season, get the body healthy if need be. Get the mind refreshed, make sure I spend good, quality time with friends and family, and then just that build-up."
Crosby likes to keep it light during the early portion of the Packers' offseason program because it helps him peak for the regular season. In the past, there were times when Crosby might overtrain and feel at his best for the start of training camp – only to realize he had six more weeks to go before the regular season.
That "process" has worked for Crosby. Statistically, he's had the two best seasons of his career at ages 35 and 36, making 38 of a possible 40 field goals. While he only attempted 16 last year, Crosby made all four of his attempts from beyond 50 yards.
"That's huge, especially kicking in this type of climate," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "With Mason, you never want to take anything for granted, but he has consistently delivered, at least the past two years and even beyond that obviously. But yeah, he's invaluable."
Crosby, the second-longest tenured player on the roster to Aaron Rodgers, enjoys his seat in the veteran chair, especially when it comes to working with punter JK Scott and long snapper Hunter Bradley.
Crosby credits the two 2018 draft picks for giving him "new life" and "a different energy" at this stage of his career. As the team looks to turn a corner on special teams under new coordinator Maurice Drayton, Crosby is again standing at the front of that room.
During a previous stop in Indianapolis, Drayton had a chance to coach future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri, who retired after 24 NFL seasons this past year at 49 years old. When asked what enables a kicker to last, Drayton says just one word.
"It's one word. It's process. Mason's process," said Drayton earlier this offseason. "I won't share his process, but it's a process. It was the same with Adam (Vinatieri). It was his process. The processes are different, but it was detailed to them specifically, their bodies, etcetera. His process allows him to, he's like a Timex watch. He just keeps on ticking."
Crosby laughs when asked if he has any aspirations to play as long as Vinatieri, adding that's like "a whole 'nother career." With two more seasons, however, Crosby will surpass Brett Favre's record for most games played by a Packers player (255). If Crosby's ironman streak holds, he'll, too, have a shot at Favre's consecutive games played mark in Green Bay.
That's all window dressing for now, fodder for when Crosby is shooting a round on the golf course someday. Right now, his focus is on making another Super Bowl run in Green Bay.
"It was kind of a goal to get to a point like this and have longevity," Crosby said. "That longevity is more important than just the stats and what it's meant on the field but also to my teammates and this organization. It's an honor to be able to say that I've worn the green and gold for this long and I hope to do it as long as I possibly can."