Smith has thrown eight interceptions in 136 attempts already this season, putting himself on track to challenge the single-season interception record of 35 set by Vinny Testaverde in 1988.
However, Ryan pointed to the fact that Smith threw just six picks in 518 attempts during his final year in college as evidence that the 22-year-old will be able to improve on his current figures.
"It has to get better. It can't be just we talk about it. We have to see it," Ryan told reporters.
"I will say this - the young man, when you look at his college background, he threw six picks all season. I believe it's going to get better. I don't think there's any doubt it will get better."
The Jets have won two and lost two of their four matches in the NFL so far this season and will face the Atlanta Falcons next Monday.