I agree, I think, that losing weight seems to be regressing, and holding the edge against the run is the question mark. But who else do we have on the roster, except for Brooks Reed? Williams, Jackson, Montgomery - three rookies?
Tim Dobbins, with 7 years experience, is the elder vet on the team. Cushing is next with 4 years experience and Sharpton follows with 3 years. Reed and Braman have 2 years experience. Merci has 1.
From what I read, Bramen has taken this past off season very seriously, preparing to be "the next man up". If he lost 10 pounds, deliberately, in his preparation - why? Was this entirely his decision or was the coaching & training staff behind it?
I think the experience thing is why the staff are saying that Cushing + Sharpton and Merci + Reed are our starters going into camp. But probably Cushing + Reed and Merci + Braman are on their radar. I'd bet that one of these two options will be the opening game starters.
So take your pick.