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Patriots legend Willie McGinest is helping out a division rival

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Willie McGinest is a beloved figure in New England. He helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls and since 2015 is a member of the organization’s Hall of Fame.

That did not stop him lending a hand to one of the Patriots’ division rivals this week. According to a report by ESPN’s Joe Schad, McGinest showed up at Miami Dolphins practice this week to help run drills with the team’s pass rushers.

A first-round draft pick in 1994, McGinest appeared in a combined 189 regular season and playoff games for the Patriots over a 12-year span. Along the way he registered 78 regular season sacks as well as an all-time record 16 in the playoffs.

While McGinest, who retired in 2008, has no direct connections to the current Dolphins coaching staff — the aforementioned Josh Boyer arrived in New England a year after his departure to Cleveland — the crossover between the Patriots and their division rival is significant.

Assistant coaches Wes Welker (wide receivers), Tyrone McKenzie (linebackers) and Steve Gregory (safeties) all spent time in New England during their active playing days. McGinest will not be added to that list, but at least for one practice he became the latest ex-Patriot to lend the Dolphins a hand.