Often, football announcers will say during an NFL broadcast that it is a smart play when a running back or receiver reaches for the first down marker or knows how many yards he needs to get another set of downs. Often, football announcers will say it is a smart play when a player conserves time when he run out of bounds stopping the clock.
Clearly we are not talking about junior high players who make a heads up play. That may warrant a compliment by a coach or parent. Most professional football players have played organized football for at least 10-15 years. They should know the rules. They should know how best to leverage their football skills to maximize their team’s success. They are professionals who get paid very well utilizing their mental and physical skills. If they “indeed” make a smart play, tell the viewing audience. If it’s a play they should make, say so.