TV Review – “Detail with Nick Saban: Breaking Down the Run Pass Option” on ESPN+

ESPN+ is loaded with fun and entertaining content for sports fans to enjoy. It also offers Detail from Kobe Bryant. This educational series takes an in-depth look at various athletes and informs viewers what they could have done differently in the heat of the moment.

The series jumped into college football this week, bringing in legendary Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban to break down one of the most prolific trends in football today: the run pass option.

Before every episode of Detail begins, they issue a warning saying: “This series is not meant for debate. This series is not meant to entertain.” Man, they are not kidding. If you’re not a diehard, learn-everything-you-can kind of football fan, there is no entertainment value to Detail at all.

I admit, I am someone who watches a lot of football (too much, if you ask my wife), so I found some of this episode to be interesting. However, Saban uses a lot of terminology that even I don’t understand. If you’re someone who doesn’t really know football all that well, or even a casual fan who just wants to see more Alabama football, a lot of this will probably sound like complete jibberish to you.

Even if you get past all of that, I still had a slight issue with this episode. Saban is breaking down the run pass option, a play that, as it sounds, gives the quarterback the option to either hand it off to the running back for a run or throw a pass out to a receiver. The first 12 minutes of the episode are spent looking at the Alabama offense running these plays, only not a single one of them results in a run. If for nothing else than the sake of variety, you would think they would mix in at least one run play to show how that would be executed.

Saban then changes gears to demonstrate how to defend the run pass option, showing clips of his vaunted Alabama defense doing just that. Only now, almost every play the other teams run ends up being a run as opposed to a pass. We see a lot of how to “cancel the gaps” on a run play, but not a whole lot of how to defend the pass. Then when we do finally get to a pass play, the first thing Saban does is explain that it’s not really a run pass option but rather just a play action pass. The episode just feels very unbalanced.

I don’t want to be too negative about Detail though. Saban is a brilliant coach who has taught a lot of great players how to play the game. And it is interesting to an extent for the fans who want to learn more about the game. This just isn’t for the layperson. If you’re not watching a lot, and I mean A LOT, of football, this is mostly going to go over your head.

If you’re a football player or coach who wants to better understand how to execute or defend the run pass option, I can’t overstate the amount of value in this episode of Detail. If you’re anyone else though, maybe skip it.

Detail is available now on ESPN+. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."