SAN DIEGO, JAN. 28 -- Not only are the Washington Redskins' practices closed, but you can't even get within 100 feet of the field gate. Security guards, dressed entirely in yellow, point bystanders to a sidewalk about 120 feet away, and their instructions are: "Walk around once you get there. Don't stand in one place. Don't make it look like you're peeking."

Coach Joe Gibbs is the ringleader of all this, but he said today he has his reasons.

"My job is to protect my football team," he said today. "If I open practice, there could be one person out of 1,000 who wouldn't be there to watch, but to try and help somebody else against your team. There's a lot of people who want other people to win, whether it's from their heart or for money. So, I think you need to take every precaution."

Manley Explains Absence

Defensive end Dexter Manley Dexter, who skipped an hour-long media session Wednesday, said today he spent the time in his room meditating.

"I just sat in my room and relaxed," he said. "I did some meditation, and that's what makes me tick. I have to get in the best frame of mind for this football game, and I can't do it continually talking and talking.

"I'd just like to go out and kick somebody's you-know-what. That's what I'm here for, not to fraternize {with the media}." . . . Manley was asked to be a guest tonight on ABC's Nightline but he said, "No, but no thanks."

Native Americans Protest

American Indian activists said today a banner will be flown over the Super Bowl to protest the Washington Redskins' nickname.

"What really made the final decision {to fly the banner} was when we read there were going to be 2,000 limousines at the Super Bowl," said Chris Burke, founder of Fans Against Indian Racism. "It was so nauseating that we decided we had to shed some light on a real concern of real people."

Burke said a pilot in the San Diego area has agreed to fly the banner Sunday over Jack Murphy Stadium shortly before kickoff of the NFL title game between the Redskins and the Denver Broncos.