I like option three, where you win right away and keep on winning. Option two only seems to work for guys who luck into a franchise QB late in the draft.
If you look at the best franchises out there right now, the ones that win and win big year in and year out, you'll see that most of them started winning under a regime right away and continued to do so.
Pittsburgh started winning again consistently under Cowher, and in his first season.
Green Bay started winning again under Holmgren
Ravens under Billick
Eagles under Reid, starting in his second season
Colts under Dungy won immediately (having Manning as a soph didn't hurt)
Saints started winning immediately under Payton
Falcons started winning immediately under Smith.
Then there's New England, which started winning in Belichick's second season, and it was his second stop.
I guess I'm saying that a good coach will change the culture all by himself, he doesn't need a GM to build it through several years of roster tweaking.
Who are you looking at in modern-era football that took years to build a consistent winner?
The majority of those teams either had a great franchise quarterback or a great defense. Pittsburgh has always had a great defense which wins games. The same thing with the Ravens.
Green Bay had Favre and then Rodgers. Colts had Manning as you mentioned. Saints had Drew Brees and the falcons had Matt Ryan. Of course New England has Brady.
Who has had a great coaching history without a franchise quarterback or a great defense? I can't think of any. The quarterback was the most important factor that changed the culture by winning.