Catching up with: Chris Warren

Posted Feb 7, 2013

He was a fourth-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft that also produced Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and returned kicks for his first two seasons with the Seahawks. But by the time Chris Warren left after the 1997 season, he had become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.

What he did: A little of this, and a lot of that. Chris Warren was a fourth-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft that also delivered Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, linebacker Terry Wooden and strong safety Robert Blackmon. But he returned kickoffs and punts for two seasons before ripping off a string of four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing performances. Warren ran for a then-team record and AFC-leading 1,545 yards in 1994 and scored a then-team record and AFC-leading 15 touchdowns in 1995. He also was voted to three consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-95). By the time he left the Seahawks after the 1997 season, Warren was the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 6,706 yards (a total that was surpassed by Shaun Alexander) and had rushed for 44 touchdowns to rank second to Curt Warner’s 55 (he was bumped to third by Alexander). As a returner, Warren averaged 22.6 yards on kickoffs in 1991 and 9.6 yards on punts in 1990. He played for the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2000) and Philadelphia Eagles (2000) after leaving the Seahawks. A halfback in a fullback’s body (6 feet 2, 226 pounds) who could run 40 yards in 4.38 seconds, Warren was, well, as former coach Dennis Erickson once put it, “He’s in the elite. He’s in the same class as Emmitt (Smith) and Barry Sanders, in my opinion. I think he’s special.” 

Chris Warren: Where He Ranks

A look at where Chris Warren ranks in several categories among the Seahawks' all-time leading rushers:

Career Rushing Yards
Player (years)

Shaun Alexander (2000-07): 9,429
Chris Warren (1990-97): 6,706
Curt Warner (1983-89): 6,705

Career Rushing Touchdowns
Player (years)
Shaun Alexander (2000-07): 100
Curt Warner (1983-89): 55
Chris Warren (1990-97): 44

Career Rushing Attempts
Player (years)
Shaun Alexander (2000-07): 2,176
Curt Warner (1983-89): 1,649
Chris Warren (1990-97): 1,559

Most Rushing Yards In A Season
Player (year)
Shaun Alexander (2005): 1,880
Shaun Alexander (2004): 1,696
Marshawn Lynch (2012: 1,590
Chris Warren (1994): 1,545

Most Career 1,000-yard Rushing Seasons
Player (years)
Shaun Alexander (2001-05): 5
Curt Warner (1983, 1985-86, 1988): 4
Chris Warren (1992-95): 4

Most Career 100-yard Rushing Games
Player (years)
Shaun Alexander (2000-07): 37
Chris Warren (1990-97): 24
Curt Warner (1983-89): 23

Most Rushing TDs In A Season
Player (year)
Shaun Alexander (2005): 27
Shaun Alexander (2002, 2004): 16
Chris Warren (1995): 15

What he’s doing: Warren, 46, just finished his second season as running back coach at his alma mater, Ferrum College, a Division III school in Virginia. He also was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. But Warren has resigned from the Ferrum football staff and is in the process of relocating to the Seattle area, where he hopes to continue his coaching career. “It’s about time for me to come back and continue the next stage of my life up there,” he said. Warren has four children – daughters Ariana, 20, and Kayla, 19, who attend Washington State University; and sons Chris III, 16 and a high school football player in Dallas, and Conlin, 14 and a ninth-grader who wrestles.

Quick hits

If I could have dinner with anyone – living or dead – it would be: “President Obama.”

Must-see TV: “Anything on the National Geographic channel.”

The best book I’ve ever read: “The 48 Laws of Power” (by Robert Greene).

You don’t say

My best memory as a Seahawk: “Finding out I made the team my rookie year. Just coming in after practice and knowing that was the last day to make the impression or whatever you had to do to make the team. That feeling, that was it for me.”  

Something most people don’t know about me: “That I’m probably one of the most boring people in the world to talk to (laughs).”

If I could relive one day in my life: “It would be the births of my kids. Those would be the days I’d like to relive.”