SAN DIEGO, JAN. 25 -- In an unusual move designed to prevent observers from understanding the plays the Washington Redskins were practicing today, Coach Joe Gibbs had most of his players change jersey numbers and run in 12- and 13-man alignments.

"It was my idea to change the jerseys," Gibbs told a pool reporter after a closed practice at the University of San Diego in preparation for Super Bowl XXII. "We do that every now and then when we are practicing someplace other than home. We do that just from a security standpoint."

Gibbs said he might continue the deception all week.

"We haven't done it that often but we do it from time-to-time, especially when a place is kind of open like it is here."

Gibbs said the Redskins "use 12 and sometimes 13 guys on offense for the same reason that we change the numbers. We run our regular offense with another guy or two in there, just in case somebody is watching somewhere." . . .

On the subject of spies, Gibbs declined to say if the Redskins will use a "spy" defender to shadow Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway in Sunday's game.

"I wouldn't say we would do it, but it has been done on him," Gibbs told an afternoon news conference at the Hyatt Islandia hotel. "We thought about it, but we wouldn't say how much we'd do it." Details of 'Second Meeting' Disclosed

For the first time, Gibbs spoke at length about the second team meeting he called Oct. 15, the day the striking players returned to Redskin Park, only to be told they were not going to be allowed to play against the Dallas Cowboys the following Monday night.

"They came in for the first meeting and wanted to do the following things and I had to explain to them that they missed the deadline and couldn't play," Gibbs said. "At that point, it was very heated. I think it was good, but it was heated.

"We went around and around for a while. Then, all of a sudden, it broke up and when it broke up, I didn't have a good feeling about it. Several of the players came up to my office and they were concerned also. I asked them if they would call everybody again for me and I would call a bunch and ask them to come back that evening after {the replacement team's} practice. And they did that.

"About 80 to 85 percent of our guys came back. At that point, everybody had vented their frustrations and we were able just to sit and say, 'What is the best way for us to handle this? . . . How can we do this as a team?'

"When we left, I felt so much better about it . . . I felt like there was something wrong {after the first meeting} and I said we had to get back together because it's not like us to leave a meeting like that."