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Friday, October 18, 2013
Titans' big defenders a key vs. 49ers

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One theme for the Tennessee Titans defensively in the offseason was to get bigger on the defensive line.

Enter end Ropati Pitoitua (6-foot-8, 298 pounds) and tackles Sammie Hill (6-4, 328) and Antonio Johnson (6-3, 328).

The 49ers have a big, strong offensive line where everyone is 300 pounds and the group totals 1,587.

“Most of the time people try to spread us out, make us go small,” Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said. “San Francisco is going to say, 'We’re going to do what we do best, we’re going to run the football and it’s your job to stop us.' We got these guys in here, Mookie and Ropati and Sammie. It’s like, 'You know what? This is your type of game. Let’s see what we put the investment in.'"

I conveyed that to Hill, who smiled.

He says he’s only around 75 percent with the ankle injury that cost him three games recently, but is hopeful he will get increased snaps.

“We have to show them what they envisioned, give them what they’ve asked of us,” Hill said. “We’re all looking forward to going out against a big run game and trying to stop it and keep them under 100 yards.”