That's why the New York Jets' second-year quarterback went through the "painful" process of watching every one of his 21 interceptions and four lost fumbles in 2013 over and over again during offseason film review. He readily admits he didn't take care of the ball well enough as a rookie, and it's why the team signed Michael Vick to compete for the starting job this year.
Still, Smith is confident the job is his to loose, and that his growth through experience will ultimately help him prevail as the starter.
"Knowing that I am going to take every action possible to get better and to come in to this season as a better player (gives me confidence)," Smith said on the first day of the team's offseason program Monday. "Having a second season in (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg's) system, (being with quarterbacks) coach David Lee (for a second season) and with Rex (Ryan) as the head coach is going to do wonders, not just for myself but everyone on the offense.
"Obviously it is going to come down to production on the field. I just believe that with the experience that I have gained and with the direction that we were heading in as an offense and where I see myself as a second-year player, I just believe that I am more than capable of being the starter."
Smith was thrust into the starting job as a rookie when his training camp battle with Mark Sanchez fizzled with Sanchez ultimately missing the entire season. Smith went on to throw 12 touchdowns against 21 interceptions, and the playbook was eventually dialed back as Smith and an underwhelming supporting cast struggled to move the ball through the air.
The Jets signed Vick to provide veteran competition. The two have met several times during the offseason, and Smith claims he has no problem with the competition brought in by general manager John Idzik.
"I'm all for competition," said Smith. "I am going to compete no matter who (the team brings) in. I think we got a good guy in Mike, who brings something extra to the table as far as veteran leadership into our quarterback room.
"As well as a guy with tremendous capabilities that we all - him, myself and Matt Simms - can compete with one another as well as learn from one another. It should be fun in our quarterback room."
Vick has experience in the NFL and in the offensive system the Jets run. Smith claims he's ready to learn from Vick, while also proving he deserves to be behind center come Week 1.
"I respect what Michael said, but I understand that there's a competition and honestly, it comes down to what we do on the field," said Smith. "You (can talk about it) in these interviews, but it really comes down to what we do on the field and that's really what I look forward to.
"I look forward to competing with a guy like Mike because I know he has been a starter in this league and is capable at the age that he is. He still runs fast, he still throws it accurately and with great velocity. He is a very smart quarterback in my opinion and as long as we continue to get better, it's going to make our team better."