You've tapped into part of what I'm pondering here.
Suppose Newton had sat and learned all the nuances of a pro offense for the first season. Would Chudzinski still have felt the need - for whatever reason- to switch to a college style offense in year two?
I know people will go with the "he set a bunch of rookie records" argument in this. Someone will have to tell me exactly what good those records are doing us right now.
Add in that the benefit of whatever good experience he got last year is being erased by the disaster of this year.
The benefit of the experience is intangible, but still a benefit.
If anything, last year showed us that Cam Newton can succeed in this league (and, of course, showed him), which is important. Even this year, we've only been blown out in a couple of games, could easily be 7-3, and Cam has been humbled to some degree. We may not see the benefit of this now, but it manifest itself in the future.
In my mind, this year doesn't erase last year's marginal "success" at all, it just proves how important coaching inexperienced QBs is, and also how important it is to keep expectations in the realm of reality when dealing with a young team.