Hue Jackson isn't in to revealing much, but—on Monday—when he said of the offensive line, "I’m not going to tell you I’m set, but I’m definitely moving in that direction," some took this as a sign that the group that started on Sunday against the Saints would be the starting line in Week One.
That line was, from left to right, Jared Veldheer,Stefen Wisniewski, Samson Satele, Cooper Carlisle, and Khalif Barnes. I am not convinced this will be the starting group in week one.
Stephon Heyer replaced Barnes early on Sunday. Heyer recently came back from an injury and I think he has a very real chance of taking Barnes spot in that starting lineup. To his credit, Barnes looked much better last weekend. However, that wasn't hard to do. The only time Barnes looked swift in the first two weeks was when he was jumping offsides. Jump over for more....
Barnes hasn't been getting a good push in the run game and he struggles to gain any leverage. I am not going to sit here and say I have a great read on Heyer at right tackle, but my initial thoughts are he looks better in the run game. Both guys may be too susceptible to a strong outside pass rush. But I have seen Barnes struggle enough that I would prefer to see Heyer starting.
As for the rest of the guys, I think they probably are set. Bruce Campbell is looking pretty good at right guard though. I imagine he will win that starting spot before the season's end.
Overall, I feel much better about this group then I did before the preseason. Wisniewski looked solid last weekend and that is a huge upgrade over Loper. Satele looks better than ever at center, Carlisle is still Carlisle and Veldheer has shown flashes of brilliance. I expect he will still give up a few sacks to speed rushers, but he looks better prepared to handle this job than last year.