Maybe I'm over-estimating the loss of McGinest, but I don't believe I am. It galls me to hear people say that "Our defense was awesome at the end of last year and we only lost McGinest." Why? Because McGinest was one of the leaders on this defense. He was out there every game the last two years rarely going to the sidelines for a breather. How many key plays did he make for us? While there isn't much of a drop off from McGinest to Vrabel (and there is a drop off), what about the drop off from Vrabel to say, Beisel or Claridge? And is the combination of the two drop offs larger or smaller than if we were going from McGinest to Lawson and leaving Vrabel in the middle with Bruschi? The final piece to take into consideration is what is the drop off from Maroney to Brian Calhoun or Maurice Drew? This defense is already going to be significantly different from last year's team because McGinest is gone. Vrabel and he have different pass rush skills. McGinest would go around the edge. Vrabel likes to shoot the inside hole. Having Vrabel lined up opposite Colvin is a defense we've never seen before. Well, maybe in 2004 before Colvin got hurt, but I can't remember how we started. Anyways. I hope that my fears are misplaced. But lets give Willie the respect he deserves and not pretend like his loss is easily covered.