The Titans wanted to get bigger on the defensive line this offseason and did just that, signing 6-foot-8 free-agent defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua.

Pitoitua plays primarily defensive end but can shift inside when needed. He is most effective against the run, where his big frame can clog up lanes and free up linebackers and other linemen.

“He’s a big man,” Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said. “He can be a good run stopper for us and a ball disruption guy with his height. His approach to practice has been awesome. … Every day he’s made progress, getting better and better learning our system. He just comes to work every day.”

Pitoitua adds a new dimension to a defense that ranked 24th in the NFL against the run and 27th in total defense last season. His size and strength give the Titans an option in running situations that they didn’t have much of last year.

“That gives us a chance to look like we want to look,” defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said. “Stop the run on first and second down, and let us get after the quarterback on third down.”

The Jets signed Pitoitua as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State in 2008. After spending his first season on the practice squad, he played sparingly for New York in 2009 and 2011, missing the 2010 season with a torn Achilles tendon in his left foot.

Pitoitua had his most productive year last year with the Chiefs. He appeared in 15 games, with 10 starts, 51 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

Pitoitua has taken mostly second-team reps during organized team activities, but he should be in position to see the field regularly in the 2013 season.