Take a look at Brandon Browner, and you can see why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints are heading in different directions.
Browner is the worst cornerback in the NFL, a selfish knucklehead who says and does dumb things. He is a big reason the Saints are headed into the abyss.
Before this season, New Orleans gave him a $15 million, three-year deal in a classic case of throwing money at a dartboard and hoping you hit something.
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The Bucs used to do this often.
Under the Greg Schiano-Mark Dominik regime, they tossed money at head case Eric Wright and Dashon Goldson to the tune of about $35 million guaranteed.
Despite some mistakes in free agency, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht have stayed clear of those daunting divas.
To borrow a favorite phrase of the Bucs head coach: "It's as simple as that."
Simply put: The Saints created their own demise. They overpaid players and used big money to acquire free agents like Browner, currently the mother of NFL busts.
The Saints have the worst secondary in the NFL, which is why they are last in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense.
You can bet Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and his receivers are salivating at a chance to go against the Saints, and Browner in particular, though offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is singing praises their way.
"The Saints have had a lot of bad luck on defense with injuries. They have eight rookies playing in the rotation," Koetter says. "They've had to move some guys around. They still have some very talented players."
They still have Browner, who embarrassed himself on national TV recently when he deliberately avoided a chance to tackle Washington's Matt Jones so he could knock down a blocking lineman.
Give Lovie credit for not allowing malcontents to infect this team.
At 6-foot-4. 221 pounds, Browner is an oversized cornerback who tries to make up for his lack of speed by holding and grabbing.
In the Saints loss to Carolina last week, he allowed a pair of touchdowns and committed three penalties. His 21 penalties this season tower over Bucs offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus, who is second in the league with 14.
The Saints were either desperate or didn't do their homework in acquiring Browner. It's what the Bucs used to do.
Browner played on Super Bowl-winning teams Seattle and New England, but all that did was hide his flaws. He has 10 holding calls, three for pass interference and three for grabbing a face mask this season.
The Saints keep putting Browner out there perhaps to justify the money they spent on him. Lovie moved beyond all that kind of Tom Foolery and is willing to admit his mistakes.
Browner committed 19 penalties for Seattle in 2011, the third highest total since 1999. He was flagged for 15 penalties in only nine games for New England last season.
He is the reason the Saints have allowed a league-high 46 first downs because of penalties and are abysmal against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks have a 107.9 rating against him, completing 46 of 72 targets for 31 first downs.
The Bucs are doing well in all the areas Lovie says are a must to become a winning team.
Winston has thrown 12 TDs in the red zone without getting picked off.
"That is an area where one of the worst things you can do is throw an interception," Smith says, "That's just part of the decision making he's going through. He's made good decisions. We've seen that growth throughout the year."
Tampa Bay is on pace for its best rushing differential in franchise history, averaging 143.3 rushing yards per game while allowing 94.7.
"I think the biggest reason why you see big runs and not being able to play the run well is not knowing what gaps you have," Smith says. "We're a single gap. No one probably works on guys knowing where they're supposed to be as much as we do."
Browner doesn't seem to know where he is supposed to be, but you can bet the Bucs offense will find him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.