Gray led New England in rushing during the preseason with 107 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Gray also had a monster game last season for New England, when he rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Still, Gray was among the Patriots' roster cuts last weekend.
"I was shocked, but at the same time I can't blame them," Gray said in the Dolphins locker room Wednesday. "They gotta do what they think is best for the team. I was surprised. I thought I did everything I can to earn a roster spot -- not only earn a roster spot, but earn a starting spot. But it didn't work out my way."
Gray said he was grateful for the opportunity to play in New England and that the experience helped him mature as a person and player. After his big game against Indianapolis, Gray overslept before a November practice, and his role was mostly diminished the remainder of the season.
A new year offered Gray a fresh start to move past the incident. But last weekend's surprising release forces Gray to work his way back up through Miami's practice squad.
"I've been through worse," Gray said. "So I look at it as another opportunity to work, get better and have an opportunity to go against a starting defense and hopefully help the team win."