"The confidence I have in myself, this is my job," Smith said Friday during an appearance on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7.
Smith, on a Super Bowl promotional tour in Manhattan, said he has no problem with Rex Ryan's noncommitment. Smith said he accepts competition, adding that he'll have more motivation if the Jets draft a quarterback in May.
"It just means more competition," he said. "It gives me that fire I've always had in me. ... It's going to make me work harder, make me tougher, make me work that much harder in OTAs if I have someone to compete against."
Reflecting on his up-and-down rookie season, Smith said the turning point came when he was benched against the Miami Dolphins in the 12th game.
"It was time to grow up," he said. "That's what they were saying to me: 'It's time to grow up and take the training wheels off.'"