In this issue, Lawson et al. provide new insight into the relationship between FAK and talin during assembly of integrin adhesions on fibronectin. They show that FAK is upstream of talin, and that talin is not required for FAK recruitment or for integrin activation at nascent adhesions. However, FAK-talin binding is required for adhesion turnover and cell motility. The findings question the view that talin is always upstream of focal adhesion protein recruitment to clustered integrin sites.