With training camp a little over a month and a half away, Smith told reporters on Wednesday that Vick's presence has made him a better quarterback.
"Having Mike here as made me better," he said. "Being a second-year quarterback has made me better. But everything is a result of hard work. That's my mantra. That's the mantra of this team."
Smith says he's spent more time studying film and has improved his preparation. And after struggling in his rookie season, completing just 55.8 percent of his passes for 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, the second-year quarterback looks poised for a much-improved season by simply being a better student.
"Night and day," Smith said in reference to his understanding of the offense this year compared to last. "It's a result of reps. It's a result of a lot of film study, just staying in that playbook, taking detailed notes in the classroom. Obviously, I'm not out here head spinning as much as it was last year. I'm still learning."
Smith has taken the majority of the first-team reps so far, but Smith and the Jets maintain that it's an ongoing competition—but only in the sense that players are competing, not that the job hasn't been decided.
"There's competition at every single spot," Smith said. "We're all competing daily to get better. We're all pushing ourselves. We're all pushing one another. And that's what's really going on."
Despite the competition with Vick, Smith says the two—and the team as a whole—have a great relationship both on and off the field. "Yeah, we hang out," he said. "That goes for all of our guys. We're a very close-knit bunch on this team. All of us hang out a lot. We spend tons of time together."
Smith's relationship with Vick already appears to be better than the one Smith shared with last year's competition, Mark Sanchez. When asked to compare the relationships Smith didn't have much to say.
"I'm not going to compare that," he said. "We're in a different year. It's year two, I'm all about getting better. I'm looking forward to working with Mike. When I was with Mark we did a good job with doing the same thing—we competed hard."