September 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Ropati Pitoitua (75) in the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans signed ex-Washington State Cougar defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua to a one year deal just a few days ago. The Titans have been looking for a decently priced and large bodied end to add to their scheme, and Ropati fits the bill nicely. The general manager Ruston Webster described the situation:
"Ropati gives us the big body we were looking for at the defensive end position. He has played a number of games and been productive. He should be an asset for us in the run game at end and also could give us flexibility on game days with the ability to kick inside for some snaps.”"
Knowing nothing about the Tennessee scheme, it sounds like they’re taking a page from the Seahawks with this one, trying to baton down the hatches on the outside with some big bodies during run downs and create space for their linemen. The big guy is 6’8″ 315 pounds and isn’t very good getting after the passer but he won’t be asked to do that much, I would imagine (though he did crumble on top of Rivers in the picture above). Tennessee is still thin at the position, so they’ll either address it with an explosive pass rusher in the NFL Draft (probably), or get another free agent. The only problem with the ladder is that basically all of the pass rushing DE’s are either gone or deep between teams that are not the Titans. Tough to say the impact Pitoitua makes this upcoming season, but the Titans got bigger.
Pitoitua started 10 games last season as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and has played in 37 games in his four NFL seasons.