Chicago Sun-Times

Bears sign Canadian receiver

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The Bears hope they found the type of big, physical receiver than can compliment their existing receiving corps in Andy Fantuz, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound Canadian Football League veteran who was signed to a reserve/future contract Friday.

The Ontario native led the CFL with 1,380 receiving yards on 87 catches (15.9 ypc) and six touchdowns in 2010. Fantuz spent five seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2006-10) in the CFL, hauling in 276 receptions for 4,136 yards (15.0 ypc) and 23 touchdowns. Prior to the CFL, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound wide receiver played at the University of Western Ontario.
 

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22 Comments

Well, no harm in giving him a shot. The question is, how good are his routes? If we are sticking with Martz, it is all about timing, and being slow out of the gate, or out of a break gets INTs pinned on the QB.

We already have Knox who won't run a slant or fight for the ball, and Hester who never comes back to the ball. We don't need another WR who hangs Cutler out to dry.

Earl Bennett and Rashied Davis are the only two receivers on the roster who have done what we need from them as professional wideouts, so we need at least 2 more receivers this offseason. If Aromashodu isn't going to cut it, which still baffles me, then we need to move in a different direction.

The other option is to spend a mid-round pick (3rd?)on a guy like Greg Little out of North Carolina. I think he is the same kind of receiver, and probably a little faster than Fantuz, although I have to admit I have not seen any tape on Fantuz.

We need some size on the outside at split end, but they still need to be able to get in and out of breaks quickly to get to the spot for the ball on time. Big guys like Mike Williams in Seattle are not crisp route runners, and do not perform well in downfield comebacks, outs, and crosses, because it takes too long to throttle down and change directions, and the defender has a chance to jump the break. Hopefully Fantuz is a more polished route runner, and can get out of breaks without slamming on the brakes...

Wow. Joe!!!
A very intelligent observation without the typical and boring Lovie, Angelo hate.

Fantuz is the real deal, runs amazing routes and can take a hit, not afraid of traffic. He also has hands like glue....I watched him for last number of years in Canada, he will impress people.

I really don't think anyone could have said it better.

Speaking as a bears fan and a Canadian who watches the CFL regularly, I can tell you that Fantuz is a guy who will catch anything near him and is a great blocker. I think he can be a great red zone guy. His speed isn't great and his route running is good but not having seen him in Martz's complex route scheme, I can't give him a grade. I don't know if he will make the team or not but he's certainly worth a gamble. I know the kid plays his heart out.

Fantuz is a fine route runner who will go after the ball in a crowd. He didn't lead the CFL in receiving because he is afraid. If given a chance he should prove he can play in the NFL. My concern is here in Canada the receivers have an advantage as they are allowed motion and can hit the line running as the ball is snapped. He has good size (6'4"),sure hands and decent but not outstanding speed. He is an excellent possession receiver who will get you the first down or TD when needed.
He played 5 years for my team and we would have him back in a heartbeat!!

Fantuz did benefit from Durant's ability to elude rushers. He can make catches though. On the other hand after Calgary put Brandon Browner on Fantuz late in the year, Funtuz was almost MIA the rest of the season. If you are a top player on your team, you have to step it up especially in the playoffs.

YouTube link below of Fantuz in action. Of course the DBs in the NFL will be superior but he could be a good redzone & 3rd down option.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkbV9PFK1DE

Ohhhh my!! This signing makes me all tingly! I bet he'll be as great as our Hall of Famer Mike Haas. The next Jerry Rice, baby, next Jerry Rice!

Fantuz has great hands. He will hang onto anything near. Great route runner; will go into traffic. Average speed, but he should be good for first downs. Chicago is gonna love this guy if Cutler throws him the ball. Clutch.

Well, I for one like the move. It costs practically nothing, and I am tired of receivers who are fast but seem to lack basic football smarts, can block but often don't, and leave the QB looking like an idiot when they cut off routes early and too often don't fight for a jumpball. In short, lots of talent in the feet, but not enough in the head and heart on too many plays. It is a shame, because you get the feeling that some of the Bears WRs have all the talent in the world. It just doesn't always seem to show on the field.

Roger,

Question for you. What is boring about pointing out the HUGE shortcomings of the two guys who are employed and paid big bucks to make this team better? The main reason the franchise QB is walking around with a grade II tear of his MCL is due to the ineptness of Angelo and Lovie. And until the day when 1 or both have their walking papers, I will continue to blast both of them. And kissing JA's A** isn't hard to do. You just have to move Armstead out of the way. There may be room enough for both of you there.

Fantuz reminds me of a stronger faster marty booker.Hes defitnly deserves a shot

we have being lobbing for a#1 reciever for 2 yrs for cutler and I dont know how good this kid is but for some reason noone signed him and is in the cfl.Look we may have to sign a free agent like plaxico buress or,randy moss but our wideouts are getting manhandle.maybe get rid of brandon manamula,and chester taylor 2 high priced personnel that didnt work out kellen davis and bell can do the same job cheaper.no hard feelings this is a game of production as for knots and,hester they need to come back and fight for the ball if not keep them on special teams returning punts and ko with limited time at wideouts.One more thing our line needs to protect jay saw owin kreuts get beat alot suppose to be the leader maybe its time for a change.Tice needs to evaluate and put the best five outthere no matter how long theyve been there garza did a decend but not solid come to think of it they were classified as worst line in football and an average at best recieving corps, and we made the nfc championship game now cutler can take us to the next level with more talent around him am excitited for 2011 cutler will rebound for 4500 yd 40 td 12 int and a sb mvp.

Well said, Robert!! He was also my favorite player and absolutely we would take him back. If given the opportunity he will shine for the Bears!


He had workout with 5 other NFL teams and I was hoping the Bears would get him. He signed with the Bears because they don't have a wideout like him. Watched him in college and CFL and the guy does what it takes to make the play. Great size and hands.

Not the first number 1 cfl reciever the Bears have signed to a futures contract. Question? Is the is the first team to sign him or work him out? 4 teams worked him out and passed already Bills, Pats, Steelers, and Bengals. Bears are loading up on cfl players this makes 10 in the last several weeks.

CFL has added some players over the years, Moon, Wake, I am forgetting a few others, but there have been a couple of guys.

Only thing that really bothers me is he played college ball in Canada, no offense to Canadian football, but it's a different animal over here. Molsen is still pretty good beer. He won the Creighton trophy which is always a good sign.

Any of you Canadians know how he did in the east west shrine game a few years back?

I see in 2009 a few other nfl teams also passed on him.

Just watched a few clips on him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkbV9PFK1DE

Don't take this the wrong way Canadians but he won't make it. He has nice hands and nice reach, but he doesn't have the speed and he makes slow cuts. NFL corners will blanket him. Let me put it to you this way he is smaller, slower, less physical, andless athletic than Greg Olsen. Olsen is a TE and not a star TE. He also looks a little soft for a reciever and he is skinny in the legs and heavy up top. Not like it's a risk. It's just the CFL is a much slower game than the nfl.

Wait I just remembered a CFL reciever who made it in the NFL. The excellent Joe Horn. Not a fast guy like Andy here, nice good hands, good size. A few problems though. First it took Joe Horn about three years to acclimate to the nfl. Andy would be 30 by the time that happened. Horn was 3-4 years younger when he came to the nfl.

Personally I can't wait for crazed Bears fans to name him the next greatest reciever ever. One guy on you tube has this guy going for 1600 yards and 14 td's next year, and leading the Bears to the Super Bowl. Can't wait for training camp.

And some place deep, deep, deep in the earth, a little chubby troll named Kevin slumbers. And as he dreams dreams of one Bear Super Bowl victory after another. A a faint whisper can be heard rummbling up from said hole. Carried on the tunnles wind currents, the whisper becomes a storm and the little troll bellows a mighty roar,"TOTAL BEAST!!!!!" For only a kiss from princess Brando or Angelo signing a CFL WR could wake this sleeping Bull Frog from his infinate dream of dreams.

Sean it's Sat. Who you taking already? And since this is Chicago and you work here now. My advice is to say the "Bulls" I mean really, a team led by a suspected rapist or the Packers. Pick your poison. I know you used to cover the Packers, but trust me "The Bulls"

ahhhhhhh.....well wel waht have we her??? sniff snfif do i sMell a BUST??? ahhh yES i sure DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

let me gioe you LOOSERS my "expert" anallisis on fanutzDon't take this the wrong way Canadians but he won't make it. He has nice hands and nice reach, but he doesn't have the speed and he makes slow cuts. NFL corners will blanket him. Let me put it to you this way he is smaller, slower, less physical, andless athletic than Greg Olsen. Olsen is a TE and not a star TE. He also looks a little soft for a reciever and he is skinny in the legs and heavy up top. Not like it's a risk. It's just the CFL is a much slower game than the nfl.

ahhhhh he hhehe heheh YES!!! i am allways right ands i only guive FACTS@!!!!

but yo guysn wo me old crap-ton just tryong to be poastcice...

ps doo doo doo doo GO PACK GO! doo doo doo doo GO PACK GO!!!!!

Creighton. I hate to break your little ballon but the CFL is not a slower game it is a different game. The CFL is geared to offense. Wider fields, bigger endzones and only 20 seconds between plays. Having only 3 downs makes the offense very agressive especially on second down. Fantuz is a clutch receiver. He finds a way to succeed even if he can't run, cut ,has no speed and has skinny legs. If the coaches have attitudes like yours he will not be given a reasonable chance. BTW How many Bears made the ProBowl?

Ahh Kevin I see you came out guns a blazing. What's the matter been gohsting the boards wating for an invite from your trully. Games over you can come out of hiding now, nobody really cares. Way to support your boy Jay by the way Mr. Super Fan. Any way the draft is coming and I know you can't resist. Kevin do you really want to compare your draft record with mine. They are posted all over the boards in the archive section. Heck even Angelo don't want to do that. But can you blame him?

Sorry Robert but the nfl is a faster game, much faster. I am not talking about downs I am talking actual speed. NFL players are way faster than your players. But hey anytime one of your teams wants to come to Chicago for a Beatdown let the Bears know. Cause they will flat out wreck your team. In fact our good college teams will wreck you too. Our teams are bigger stronger and faster. If your players could play in the nfl they would play in the nfl. Or do they not want all that money?

Peppers. Urlacher, Briggs, and Hester made the pro bowl. How many cfl players made our probowl? Name all your great CFL wide recievers that made big impacts in the nfl. Never mind I already did it for you. Joe Horn. We have had a couple of cfl players on the bears they always suck. We had a reciever a while back from the CFL he had like 12-1400 yards in a season there, he never made it past the practice squad.

As for not getting a chance because of my attitude. Well the Steelers and Pats didn't sign him and they are two of the best talent evaluating teams in the nfl. Why don't you go yell at them about their attitude.

Now let me explain something to you Robert. This is the home of The NFL and I am not just talking about the US. This is Chicago and this is where it began. I don't jump on any of your boards telling you how pond hockey is played, so don't come in this house and tell me about the NFL. Sorry pal but this is a faster, harder, tougher game down here. You get our left overs, you take guys that nfl teams don't draft or sign.

I am sure you like your version of football and I hope you enjoy it. Tell you what you come back here after the season starts and we will know who was right. Did you ever play football, do you think coaches run around telling every player how great they are. They pick you apart they break down and they rebuild you the way they want you to be and if you can't get into that mold, then so long.

Hate to break to you but he does have thin legs and the Bears play against the best secondary in football twice a year and they keep getting better. I hope your boy will be the answer but I don't see it. You know those out routs he is taking his time getting too well he is out of bounds in the nfl. Your game is designed for more passing and your recievers have more space to work with. Down here the corners are faster and stronger with olympic level speed and recievers have a lot less time and space to work with. We got 250 lb LB's faster than this kid we got ends faster than that kid. Heck Peppers is 300 pounds and is as fast as he is in pads. He is a 4.6er who makes soft cuts with a thin lower body, what do you want me to say he is great cause he played in the CFL? You think the transition is easy Joe Horn didn't think it was easy it took him 3 years.

Feel free to come back anytime but don't forget to show up when the season starts so we can talk about your boy.

Tell me something what is up with all the Drakkar Noir up there, and enjoy the song, I hope you understand the meaning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW4xah9GGN0&feature=related

My grandma and your grandma, were sittin by the fire,

My grandma told your grandma, I'm going to set your flag on fire,

chorus -

Takin bout hey now, hey now

Iko! Iko! an de'

Jackomo fe no nan e' , Jackomo fe nan e'

Look at my King all dressed in red

Iko! Iko! an de'

I bet you 5 dollars, he kill you dead!

anyone who thinks Fantuz can't make it in the NFL is ignorant. The dude is a great athlete, he will dominate defensive backs with his speed and size. The only problem he has had was battling injuries throughout his career.

Olympic level speed. LOL get out of here dude. Joe Haden ran like a 4.6 and was one of the top cornerbacks drafted. I think theres only been one player to actually have olympic type speed in the 100 meter dash. Trindon Holliday and he was injured in preseason, hes only 5'5. Btw there is more to wr than straight line speed, like change of direction etc, which are measured by shuttle and 3 cone drill times, and I guarantee this guy would be on the top of the list had he been invited to the combine. Peppers does not run faster than him, that is just pure bias. It didn't take Horn 3 years to transition because it was hard, it was because he was on a crappy team. Then he wen to the Saints, that had an actual offense and started putting up numbers.

Very rare for a linebacker to run a 4.5 as well, most run 4.6 to 4.8, at least the ones that make it. Every year you have some combine freak, they usually don't pan out. Average wide receiver in the NFL runs a 4.5, as well runningback. Guys like TJ Houshmandzadah are wide receivers that are slow, not only on the field but at the combine, wit 4.6's. Then guys like Marques Colston run high 4.5's. Yeah go ahead and compare him to Greg Olsen, because Olsen is a bulked up wide receiver, is one of the fastest tight ends, ran a 4.5, which is what most receivers run. Rarely do you have a guy like DeSean Jackson blazing in the 40. The Derrick Mason's, the Boldins etc. The difference between him and Olsen is that he is more fluid and cuts faster. You are just biased, and its not because hes Canadian, its because he is white. You Bears fans seem to hate white receivers, even though most that get a real chance

How many shut down corners exist in the league right now? I think I can't count htem on one hand. Revis is at the top. If they have speed they don't have the skills to play the position and constantly give up big plays, no matter who is running the route, thats why the Saints were schooled by the Seahawks in the playoffs by a 34 year old Brandon Stokley. Guess what Stokley still gets open, hes 5'11 and 190 pounds, and slower than this guy. He also had 1,000 yard season with the Colts.

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