If you were watching last night’s game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts you learned; A) The Patriots will always be really good as long as they have that Brady Belichick combo (but chances are you already knew that like many of us Patriots haters do), and B) there is now a guy in the NFL named Jonas Gray.
(I love this gif)
So who is Jonas Gray? Well with the internet at your fingertips you can figure that out quite quickly. Gray is a Notre Dame alum who got his NFL start with my Miami Dolphins. Side note; How do the Patriots keep turning our throw away players into stars?!- If you aren’t a scorned Miami fan you might have forgotten Wes Welker was originally a Dolphin! (deep breaths Austin deep breaths).
Anyway Gray then spent 2013 on the practice squad with the Baltimore Ravens before signing on New England’s practice squad for the 2014 season. On October 16th he got called up when Stevan Ridley went down with an injury (remember when he was going to be the next big thing). During those three weeks the 24 year old rushed for 131 yards on 32 attempts with no touch downs. That averages out to around four yards per carry which is very respectable even if it’s such a small sample size. To put things into perspective your leading rusher, Demarco Murray, averages around 5 yards every time he touches the ball.
Gray then decided he would have his breakout performance on national television for the whole football world to see. If you missed the game just google the highlights; this Michigan native ran for almost 200 yards and a franchise record four touchdowns. DAM! And that was against a Colts defense that has it flaws, but is right in the middle when it comes to stopping the run.
And the good news continues if you are a Patriots fan. Not that you need any more good news. You’re like that kid who already comes from money, got a perfect score on their SATs and then during their freshman year at Harvard they find out they can throw 95 mph and now they are on the MLB draft boards. Gray may have only played in four games but his two best performances came against teams you WILL see in the playoffs- the Colts and the Broncos.
The position of running back can be compared to a bullpen in baseball. You need one to win, but sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why things work. Some teams have a natural born killer in the backfield; the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch just like the Yankees had Mariano Rivera. However, most treat the position as a revolving door and hope they can catch fire when it matters most. That’s how it usually works in baseball too; closers can be untouchable one year and then fall into oblivion the next (yea I’m looking at you Boston and still trying to figure out how we didn’t unload Koji Uehara).
That being said I wish Gray a long career because news flash- playing in the NFL is really hard. Just know this Mr. Gray you will now make myself (and countless other non-Patriot supporters) want to pull our hair out as we watch this team of “scrubs” cruise to the AFC championship (and yes I hope that jinxes it).