But if Newton hadn't played last year, what impetus would there have been to make that drastic a change?
You don't sit a guy for a year to learn a system and then change to a new system.
What is the reason for making a change all together? If Cam sat last year which offense would he be learning? I doubt it would be the college style because most likely the QB he's learning from would be unable to pull it off. Most likely he'd be learning how to run a system like last seasons (and he was pretty good AND comfortable in that offense). I don't see a way sitting Cam for a year would've helped him run our current offense.