The NFL just can't seem to get out of its own way. On the same day that the league finally agreed to simplify the catch rule that has frustrated fans and teams for the last several years, they quietly instituted another new rule that will surely be the new number one target of ire from just about everyone.

Following the lead of college football, the NFL will now discipline players for targeting, or to put it simply, hitting with their helmet as the first point of contact.

Tim Brown put it simply as this rule almost makes it illegal to be a running back.

Putting your head down and initiating contact is the reason guys like Marshawn Lynch and Leonard Fournette are among the top running backs in the league. Taking that away from them basically means that they will have to just allow defenders to tackle them, or risk being thrown out of the game.

Not to mention the infamous quarterback sneak -- a play where the QB lowers his head and dives forward to gain a yard or two. It's a crucial skill to convert a third or fourth down that will now be illegal. Someone definitely did not consult New England Patriots QB Tom Brady before enacting this rule.

Hope for the game

There is one hope for optimism with this new targeting rule. The NFL may be announcing this rule with the idea that the preseason will be full of flags and that the players will adjust their playing style by the regular season.

The same idea happened years ago when new pass interference rules were implemented. After a preseason that was abysmal to watch, or play, the regular season was business as usual as players got used to the new lay of the land.

Hopefully the effect that this rule has on games is limited to the preseason. If this ends up being a call that alters a late season game with playoff implications, then the league will have created yet another reason for fans to tune out.