After showing up late for a Friday meeting following his breakout game against the Colts in November, Gray went from Sports Illustrated cover boy to undercover. He became nonexistent in the offense, was in and out of the doghouse and ultimately relegated to sideline cheerleader at the Super Bowl. Gray said he is determined to work so hard during the offseason, and improve to the point that he'll never find himself on the outside looking in again. "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," he 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." Reported by the Boston Herald
Gray had his signature game against the Colts, rushing for 201 yards on 37 carries while scoring four touchdowns. That helped him finish the regular season with team-leading totals in rushing yards (412), per-carry average (4.6) and touchdowns (five). And as the Herald noted, part of the issue with Gray being limited over the final nine games, sitting out four of those all together, had to do with the game plan. If the Pats weren't going to run much, he typically was the odd man out because he doesn't play special teams, and Bill Belichick tends to favor established players such as LeGarrette Blount, over the younger, inexperienced ones, especially during the postseason. It's a matter of Belichick trusting the veteran player to not make critical mistakes. In other words, Gray has something to prove this offseason. But with Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley (unrestricted) and Brandon Bolden (restricted) all eligible for free agency, the opportunity could be there.