Cutler can't get a (boot)leg up

What's puzzling about this is the Bears have played in a loud stadium with a hostile crowd only once all season.

Offensive linemen have committed 10 of the false starts. They also have been responsible for six of the Bears' seven offensive holding penalties.

The Bears' most penalized player, by a wide margin, has been right tackle Gabe Carimi (eight).None of his teammates has more than three penalties.

Front office chess: Good timing

It is one thing to sign the right veteran player. It is another thing to sign him at the right time.

The Bears appear to have done that with a few players this year with the latest example being Zack Bowman.

They let him go in the offseason as coaches were frustrated that he hadn't realized his potential. After the Vikings cut Bowman and he sat out the first five weeks of the season, the Bears re-signed him.

They may have acquired him at the perfect time because Bowman may be more focused and motivated than ever, given how the year went for him. Against the Lions, Bowman played wonderfully on special teams.

Chilo Rachal is another example of a player who may have come to the Bears at the right time in his career. A former second-round pick who struggled with the 49ers, Rachal has had a new lease on his career in Chicago. He clearly is happy to be here, and it shows in his dedication.

The ultimate example is Brandon Marshall. He has been a complete professional behind the scenes at Halas Hall and quickly has become a team leader who has raised the bar.

Marshall made a lot of waves in Denver and Miami, but since he has been undergoing treatment for borderline personality disorder he appears to be a different man.

Twitter @danpompei