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'Kudos & Wet Willies,' season-in-review: Grading the entire roster

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As much as I hate the thought, it is time to begin the off-season coverage of our New York Giants in earnest. I will eventually be doing lots of things -- including position-by-position breakdowns, lots of draft and free agency coverage and a few surprises.

But, there is really one way to start this the right way. That would have to be with a special season-in-review edition of 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' This is going to be an exhaustive player-by-player breakdown.

Offense

Eli Manning (QB) -- The best individual season of his career. Argue about his warts all you want, but the guy is terrific. Kudos

David Carr (QB) -- Played well in his limited opportunities. Probably earned himself a chance to compete for a job elsewhere. Kudos

Rhett Bomar (QB) -- Signed to the active roster prior to the final game. Beat out Andre Woodson when the season began, and probably has the inside track on the backup QB job in 2010. Kudos

Brandon Jacobs (RB) -- Not a good year for the big guy, and another year in which he did not make it to the finish line. You have to wonder what the Giants will do about running back next season. Wet Willie

Ahmad Bradshaw (RB) -- His first full opportunity to get regular carries, and Bradshaw showed the toughness and big-play ability we love about the guy. An amazing season on bad ankles and broken feet. Kudos

D.J. Ware (RB) -- The Giants wanted Ware to step up and have a role on kick returns and third down. First, he got hurt. Then, his work ethic landed him in the doghouse. He got some opportunities in the final game of the season, but his Giants career might be over. Wet Willie

Gartrell Johnson (RB) -- Came over from San Diego when Ware was hurt, and impressed Tom Coughlin with his effort in limited opportunities. I was surprised he didn't get an opportunity Sunday. Earned a shot at making the team in 2010. Kudos

Madison Hedgecock (RB) -- The blocking back had a sub-par year blocking. We know now he was playing with a torn labrum. So, if he couldn't do the only job he has on this team, why wasn't he placed on IR and someone else brought in? And we know he has stone hands. Wet Willie

David Diehl (LT) -- Diehl is not terrible at left tackle, but he is average at best. Time for the Giants to consider moving him inside. Wet Willie

Rich Seubert (LG) -- Love the guy's toughness, but he had a terrible season. The falloff in his play is a big reason the Giants had trouble running. Might be fighting for a job next season. Wet Willie

Shaun O'Hara (C) -- Named to the Pro Bowl after another excellent season. Many of his line mates struggled, but O'Hara did a good job. Kudos

Chris Snee (RG) -- Another quality season for the guy who is generally considered the Giants best lineman. Kudos

Kareem McKenzie (RT) -- Generally considered the weak link in the offensive line, but I'm not so sure. He's a terrible pass blocker, but an effective run blocker. Aging, though, and missing more and more time. Probably gets replaced next season. Kwillie

Will Beatty (OT) -- The second-round pick showed plenty of potential in the opportunities he received. Needs to bulk up a bit. The only real question, though, is whether he starts at left tackle or right tackle in 2010. Kudos

Kevin Boothe (OG) -- We know from past history he cannot play tackle. Did a good job at guard when called upon in 2009, though. Kudos

Guy Whimper (OT) -- Has never developed into the player the Giants hoped. Wet Willie

Adam Koets (G/C) -- Three seasons of .... nothing. Bye, Adam. Wet Willie

Kevin Boss (TE) -- Again and again, Boss has proved his toughness. He is an improving target for Eli Manning with excellent hands, and a willing and capable blocker. We all wish he would get the ball more often. Kudos

Darcy Johnson (TE) -- Why did the Giants keep him to begin with? They need a blocking tight end, and he is not one. He isn't much of a receiver, either. Wet Willie

Travis Beckum (TE) -- Earned some opportunities, but didn't do much with them. He will never be a traditional tight end, and I wonder if he will ever find a real role with this offense. Kwillie

Bear Pascoe (TE) -- Came to the Giants late in the season, and ended up pushing Johnson aside to become the team's extra tight end. How can you not love a guy named 'Bear?' Kudos

Steve Smith (WR) -- In terms of receptions, easily the best season ever for a Giants receiver. An amazing route runner, he is money on third down. If he could ever become a guy who made more plays AFTER he catches the ball he would truly be all world. Kudos

Hakeem Nicks (WR) -- The No. 1 pick justified the selection with an excellent rookie season. Has drawn comparisons, justifiably, to Anquan Boldin. He will be a big-time threat for many years to come. Kudos

Mario Manningham (WR) -- From a guy who did virtually nothing as a rookie, Manningham made huge strides this season. There are still plenty of rough spots in his game when it comes to route-running and ball security, but he is on his way to being a quality player. I'm probably being tough on him here, but ... Kwillie

Domenik Hixon (WR) -- Began the season as a starter. Ended it as the fourth wide receiver, which is probably exactly what he is. Good coverage guy, but had a disappointing season on returns. I'm conflicted on Hixon, because he was disappointing but not awful. Kwillie

Sinorice Moss (WR) -- Is there any doubt how to grade Mr. August? The Giants can't waste any more time with this guy. Wet Willie

Derek Hagan (WR) -- Earned a spot on the team with an outstanding pre-season. Kept it with excellent work on coverage teams. Kudos

Ramses Barden (WR) -- Ramses, we hardly saw ye. Tough to grade since all we really know is that the Giants like what he did on the scout team. He will get a real shot in 2010. Incomplete

Defense

Justin Tuck (DE) -- Played hard despite his injured shoulder, and did not have a bad season. Just not the impact season the Giants needed. Kwillie

Osi Umenyiora (DE) -- Still thinks he is great, but he's barely adequate. How the Giants proceed with him will be interesting. Wet Willie

Mathias Kiwanuka (DE) -- Wants to be a starter, and did a decent job. Has not become the impact player the Giants hoped for. Kwillie

Dave Tollefson (DE) -- A limited guy, but does a good job on special teams and a decent job playing a few snaps a game. Kudos

Chris Canty (DT) -- Gave the Giants almost nothing for their $42 million investment. Probably gets one more season to justify the big contract. Wet Willie

Fred Robbins (DT) -- Terrific player for a long time who doesn't have much left. Bye, Fred. Wet Willie

Rocky Bernard (DT) -- A wasted signing. Can't play anymore. Wet Willie

Barry Cofield (DT) -- The only Giants defensive tackle who played anything approaching consistent football. With no salary cap likely in 2010, the trick for the Giants will be how to re-sign him. Kudos

Antonio Pierce (MLB) -- I don't want to hear about his leadership. He can't physically hold up anymore, and the Giants need to move on. Wet Willie

Chase Blackburn (MLB) -- Love Blackburn on special teams, but he isn't athletic enough or physical enough to be an every-down linebacker. Kwillie

Jonathan Goff (MLB) -- Excellent special teams player, earned an opportunity to show he could be the middle linebacker of the future. Not sure he did enough to warrant a shot at the job in 2010. He was pretty invisible Sunday, and seemed to have a hard time getting off blocks. Kwillie

Michael Boley (LB) -- The only free-agent acquisition on defense who really did anything. And he really did not do all that much. As athletic as he is, he isn't really that good in pass coverage. The bigger problem is he was the Giants best linebacker. That means their linebackers are not good enough. Kwillie

Danny Clark (LB) -- Grades out OK, but he should not be a starting linebacker. Bye, Danny. Wet Willie

Clint Sintim (LB/DE) -- In pre-season looked like a monster who would be an athletic difference-maker. Struggled with an injury and with his ability to learn the defense. Wet Willie

Bryan Kehl (LB) -- A starting linebacker job has been there for Kehl to grab for two seasons, and he has never been able to do it. Quality special teams player, though. Kwillie

Gerris Wilkinson (LB) -- Another year, another trip to IR for Wilkinson. A waste of roster space. Wet Willie

Corey Webster (CB) -- With all of the other issues the Giants had on defense, they needed Webster to play like the elite player he looked like at the end of 2007 and throughout 2008. He did not measure up. Only one interception, and generally overmatched when Bill Sheridan singled him up one-one-one with top-notch receivers like Brandon Marshall or Vincent Jackson. Wet Willie

Terrell Thomas (CB) -- As bad as the secondary was, it could have have been a whole lot worse without the solid play of the second-year corner. Kudos

Bruce Johnson (CB) -- An undrafted free agent, Johnson not only earned a roster spot but ended up playing much more than anyone could have anticipated. Did not do badly, all things considered. Kudos

Kevin Dockery (CB) -- Not a good year for the veteran corner. Lost his job to Johnson and likely played his way off the Giants. Wet Willie

C.C. Brown (S) -- Do I even have to say it? Have fun in the UFL, 'Bad, Bad.' Wet Willie. In fact, a double-fisted Wet Willie.

Michael Johnson (S) -- In his third year, the Giants had to hope Johnson would step up his game after James Butler left and Kenny Phillips was injured. Instead, he became a liability. He has never been better than adequate in coverage. In 2009 his run defense was lacking as well. Wet Willie

Aaron Rouse (S) -- Not great, but not horrible work either by the Green Bay Packer reject. Probably earned the right to come back and compete for a job next season. Kwillie

Aaron Ross (S/CB) -- Missed so much time it might not even be fair to grade him. But, Ross has to be at least partially at fault for never fully recovering from his hamstring injuries. Played decently at safety in the few games he got on the field. I have no idea what kind of player he will be going forward. Wet Willie

Sha'reef Rashad (S) -- On the practice squad until the final game. Earned a contract for next season, and has likely forced his way into the Giants plans. Incomplete

Special Teams

Jeff Feagles -- He has been a tremendous weapon for a long time. For whatever reason, Feagles had more bad kicks this season than ever. I think some of that might be poor special teams coaching, but not a great year for a great kicker. Wet Willie

Lawrence Tynes -- Misses too many easy kicks. Adequate at best on kickoffs. Should have to compete to keep his job in 2010. Wet Willie

Zak DeOssie -- Listed as a linebacker, but really just a long-snapper in the NFL. Is flawless on punt snaps, and handled the PAT and field-goal snapping well this season. Plus, he is excellent in coverage. Kudos

(E-mail Ed at bigblueview@gmail.com)