In an interview with WFAN on Thursday, Ryan's predication was simple:
"I'm definitely convinced that we can win with Geno Smith," he said.
Despite the confidence in Smith, the Jets signed Michael Vick to a one-year deal in March and Ryan believes that Vick will compete for the starting job in training camp.
"Mike Vick definitely has a chance to win the job," he said. "There's no doubt about that. Competition, I think, is outstanding for everybody involved in it."
Vick played in just seven games with Philadelphia last season, due to injury and the emergence of Nick Foles, and completed just 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,215 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Even with his struggles in 2013, Vick had a solid tenure with the Eagles. In five seasons, Vick completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 9,984 yards, 57 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
But despite the fairly recent success of Vick and the struggles of Smith last season, Ryan says the job is currently Smith's to lose.
"It's not just, hey, this is Geno Smith's job," he said. "I'm just telling you what I believe to be the truth, which is: This young man [Smith] is going to be hard to beat out. Even as talented a player as Mike Vick is, I think Geno Smith has made that big of strides."
Ryan's confidence in Smith is interesting as Smith had mixed results in his rookie season. Smith completed just 55.8 percent of his passes and ranked No. 28 in touchdowns (12), No. 21 passing yards (3,046) and threw the fourth-most interceptions (21).
The rookie QB also struggled just to get passes off last season, suffering through 43 sacks. Additions to the receiving corps, including former Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker, should make things easier on Smith this season if he wins the job out of camp.
Regardless of team improvements, Ryan believes Smith's talent will be noticed during training camp.
"And again, the proof will be in the pudding when we play this thing out, but that's my confidence in him."