Before there was Marshawn Lynch, there was Shaun Alexander. Before there was Alexander, there was Ricky Watters. Before there was Watters, there was Chris Warren. And before there was Warren, there was Curt Warner.
This quintet of productive running backs has something in common: They are the only 1,000-yard rushers in Seahawks' history.
Warner was the first, during his rookie season in 1983 – as well as 1985, 1986 and 1988. Warren was the next, from 1992-95. Then came Watters, in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Then it was Alexander, from 2001-05. Now it's Lynch, who has surpassed the barrier in each of the past four seasons.
But despite last playing for the Seahawks in 1989 – three years after Lynch was born – Warner continues to stand out in this prodigious pack because he is the only running back in the team's Ring of Honor. He became the fifth member of the now 11-man fraternity when he was inducted into the Ring in 1994 – following Steve Largent, Jim Zorn, Dave Brown and Pete Gross; and preceding Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg, Chuck Knox, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones.
And this is the day to remember all of that, because Wednesday is Warner's 54th birthday.
Warner arrived in Seattle in 1983, as the Seahawks' first-round draft choice after Knox had traded the team's top three picks to move into the No. 3 spot so he could take the back needed to propel his "Ground Chuck" offense.
And Warner did not disappoint. He broke a 60-yard run on his first regular-season carry and finished his rookie season with 1,449 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading the Seahawks to the franchise's first playoff berth. He missed the 1984 season after tearing knee ligaments in the opener, but returned to rush for 1,094 yards in 1985 and also had 1,481 yards and 13 TDs in 1986 and 1,025 yards and 10 TDs in 1988 – when the Seahawks captured their first division title to cap a six-season run where they advanced to the playoffs four times.
So on his special day, we send a rush of birthday wishes to Curt Warner.