Randy Lerner has deep pockets but very little knowledge of how to build a successful football team. His past history has proven this. An organization is built from the top down not from the middle. Lerner needs to hire someone with extensive experience to run the entire Browns football operation and to stay out of the coaching and GM searches.
Experience in running a football operations is the key here. Popular fan choices such as Bill Cower or Marty Schottenheimer are not the answer. They are coaches, that's where their experience lies. First time GMs such as Phil Savage and George Kokinis were in over their head as well. E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E is what is needed.
My choice would be Ernie Accorsi. Accorsi, now 68, was general manager of the Browns from 1985-92 and held the same position with the New York Giants from 1997-2007. He has said he wants to stay retired but if offered complete control of Cleveland's football operations, he might change his mind. Lerner seems to hold Accorsi in high regard and needs him now more than ever.
With Accorsi overseeing the Browns, he would then hire the GM of his choice, who in turn would hire the coach of his choice. Now you would have a chain of command with some accountability in place. It all starts at the top. Lerner has to get the right man in place at the top. Hiring the head coach first without the other pieces in place will not work. It's a recipe for disaster.
Randy Lerner needs to avoid making snap decisions as he did with his last hires and get it right. Hire at the top and let him do the rest.