If you're Tony Gonzalez, then you can do whatever you damn well please. Training camp is no exception.
Both Mike Smith and Gonzalez addressed the media today. Both made it known that Gonzalez will be absent during part of training camp. He will be tending to family obligations. Gonzalez said his son is playing football for the first time, and he wants to be there for him, because he promised he would. Father of the Year award aside, let me say that I don't mind this one bit.
If anything, Gonzalez just needs to get in playing shape. He knows the terminology, and he could probably teach Chris Scelfo about technique. His health is invaluable, and while I appreciate his influence on players like Levine Toilolo and Chase Coffman, it's a long season. Toilolo and Coffman will get more work with the first team, and there's nothing bad about that. If you listen to Gonzalez's interview, he vows to be game ready when he needs to be. Since sweet potato and kale sandwiches comprise 95 percent of his meals, I'm quite sure conditioning won't be an issue.
Smith was careful to note that this wasn't a precondition to him coming back. I'm thinking that's not entirely accurate, but I love the Smith feels the need to support Gonzalez. Bottom line is this: Gonzalez will be gone for a while. Then he will be back. Deal with it.