TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ When asked whom among them was the best blocker, all three University of Alabama starting wide receivers had the same response, that they were all good.

“It’s part of playing the position,” junior Amari Cooper said as nonchalantly as he could.

However, senior tight end Brian Vogler recently gave the trio up and revealed what’s really been going on behind the scenes.

“It’s kind of funny, they are in there arguing who is the better blocker,” Vogler said. “You don’t ever hear that from receivers. (Usually) they’re always talking about who made the cooler catch or who put down more yards, and they are in there arguing about who is making touchdown blocks.

“It’s pretty cool hearing that in the locker room.”

So far the group has been nothing short of impressive with its blocks as Alabama has been rattling off big plays on a regular basis.

A good example was on the first snap of the season senior DeAndrew White had the key block to spring junior Amari Cooper for 24 yards. Later in the game Cooper missed a block resulting in White taking a hard hit, but Cooper came back and flattened a West Virginia linebacker along the sideline, which teammates say is something he’s been doing on a regular basis during practices.

Senior Christion Jones had the key block on Cooper’s 52-yard touchdown against Florida Atlantic, and sophomore Chris Black’s subsequent attempt wasn’t as impressive but it was enough to allow running back Kenyan Drake to elude defenders during his 39-yard touchdown.

“Competitive,” White said. “We’re all competitors who want to get better every day. No matter what it is we try to help each other out, pick out the things we’re doing wrong and point out the things we’re doing right so we can continue to grow as a unit.”

While no one will likely touch Cooper’s numbers when it comes to receptions and yards this season, blocking is an area that the others can challenge him and is also a way for younger players to earn more playing time.

Part of the selling job by coaches is that you should give up your body and make the block that you hope your teammates will do for you. By doing so, everyone benefits.

“I think receivers sometimes take what they do in the game literally, which means they’re supposed to receive the ball,” Coach Nick Saban said. “What we try to emphasize with them is you’ve got to be a complete player at your position.

“If you have a really good day, you might catch five or six balls. There’s going to be 70 plays in the game. That means there’s something else that you have to do on the other 65 plays a game that makes you a good player. When we run the ball, it’s important that receivers are aggressive and block, and some of the pass plays that we run it’s important that they block effectively. I think that the guys have done a really good job of that so far this season.”

In terms of technique the receivers are taught to alter their approach depending on if the defensive player is in a good set position or not. Maybe he’s not able to play the cut block, or just tying him up along the perimeter is all that’s needed.

With Lane Kiffin running the offense, though, the coordinator especially wants the receivers to be able to handle one position group in particular – the defensive backs who are almost always the best tacklers.

“He really likes us to dig out safeties,” Black said. “We figure that safeties are paid to target, corners are paid to cover, so you’ve got to take the safeties out each and every time.”

That’ll get tougher as Alabama gets into league play next week against Florida, but the argument over bragging rights won’t likely end anytime soon.

So which receiver is the best blocker?

“It’s hard for me to say,” Vogler said. “They all looked pretty good. They are all looking for the opportunity to hit somebody when given the chance.”