The rookie running back burst on the scene with a 201-yard, four-touchdown performance on Sunday Night Football last November, then promptly took up residence in Bill Belichick's dog house when he overslept and missed a team meeting. He was a bit player for the rest of the season and inactive for Super Bowl XLIX.
"Rooting for those guys wasn't very hard for me because I knew the work they had put in, I knew the sweat, the tears, everything that went into the entire season. I knew they deserved it," Gray told the Boston Herald of his Super Bowl spectator role. "The tough part for me was to watch it, and not participate in a matter I thought I should, and not be able to help change the outcome of the game; being helpful. But it's motivation going into the offseason. I just know I need to work harder, so I'll never get myself in that position again."
Gray could have a chance to move up the depth chart thanks to free agency. Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are both unrestricted free agents; Brandon Bolden is restricted. LeGarrette Blount -- whose arrival played as big a role in Gray's disappearance as his alarm clock -- is under contract through 2015.
"When people ask me about the offseason, I tell them, I'm going to have a Jerry Rice/Walter Payton mentality where whatever you do isn't enough," Gray said. "I'm going to have a work ethic where I know, in my heart of hearts, I'm going to outwork everybody. That's what I hope to achieve."
We imagine Gray will have a clean slate by training camp. We'll see what he can do with it.