I've been in need of this reminder myself in the past year or so. This originally went up on the blog 25 September, 2011.
If you've been going through a run of disappointing grant reviews punctuated by nasty Third Reviewer comments, you tend to tense up.
Your next proposals are stiff...and jam packed with what is supposed to be ammunition to ward off the criticisms you've been receiving lately. Excessive citation of the lit to defend your hypotheses...and buffer concentrations. Review paper level exposition of your logical chain. Kitchen sink of preliminary data. Exhaustive detail of your alternate approaches.
The trouble is, then your grant is wall to wall text and nearly unreadable.
Also, all that nitpicky stuff? Sometimes it is just post hoc justification by reviewers who don't like the whole thing for reasons only tangentially related to the nits they are picking.
So your defensive crouch isn't actually helping. If you hook the reviewer hard with your big picture stuff they will often put up with a lot of seeming StockCritique bait.