This article is part of our Team Previews series.
By George Kurtz
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
As if finishing the 2010 season at 7-9 wasn't bad enough, new team owner Stephen Ross made a mockery of his search for a new head coach by leaving Tony Sparano spinning in the wind. Ross was trying to lure Jim Harbaugh to South Florida, but never fired Sparano, leaving the team's coaching staff wondering if they would have jobs for the 2011 campaign. When Ross failed in his attempt to sign Harbaugh, he informed Sparano that he would be kept on for another season, not exactly the way to show your players who is in charge.
Miami may be been one of the teams most impacted on the field by the NFL lockout, which wiped out most of the offseason. The Dolphins know that they need another quarterback, as Chad Henne is not the answer, but they were unable to bring in any signal-callers to see if they were a match for the team's offense. No offseason meant no mini-camps and no quarterback camps, which meant the Dolphins didn't feel like they would have enough time to bring in a new QB and have him learn the offense and acclimate himself to the team's personnel. Moreover, the Bengals refusal to deal Carson Palmer and Kyle Orton's contract demands didn't help Miami trade their way out of their quarterback problem either.
The Dolphins do have some interesting weapons on offense. Brandon Marshall is still a dangerous receiver who would benefit