J Pat Carter/Associated Press
One of the hallmarks of the Jim Schwartz era was a reliance on veterans to fill depth roles, particularly on defense.
Lions fans grew accustomed to seeing young players like Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Doug Hogue discarded in favor of more proven, but limited, veterans like John Wendling and Andre Fluellen.
But this is now Jim Caldwell's team, and that means the tide could be changing in favor of the young up-and-comers.
The Lions cut veteran reserve defensive tackle Vaughn Martin (pictured), opting to give those reps to more unproven talents Greg Hickman and Jimmy Saddler-McQueen.
While it can be interpreted that Martin simply wasn't good—or healthy—enough to contribute, the more optimistic side is that the new coaching staff is more committed to upside. It also indicates more confidence in the organizational ability to develop talent, something that was definitely not a strength of the Schwartz staff.
This dovetails nicely with the previous slide and the wider picture of the Lions acting as a more successful organization. Instead of trying to patch holes with the same old retreads, this regime is more about finding and growing better replacements.
Kris Durham, Jonte Green and the aforementioned Fluellen, now in his fifth stint with the team, are now on notice that past experience won't be a trump card in their quests to make the team.