HEERNDON, VA. — HERNDON, Va. -- Joe Gibbs brings to mind the old slogan that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
The Washington Redskins coach knows the New York Giants are out to get him Sunday in what could be a pivotal game for both teams.
That just seems to raises Gibbs' usual paranoia level.
For the second time this week, Gibbs had staff members patrolling the bushes around the team's practice field at Redskin Park yesterday.
The fans who came up to the fence in front of the park were shooed away. Hey, this is Giants Week.
Then there was the telephone conference call Gibbs had with the New York writers yesterday.
He let them know he was upset with an article in Tuesday's Washington Times that noted Lawrence Taylor had just one tackle, no sacks or assists, one hurry and one pass defensed in the second game against the Giants last season, even though the Giants won, 20-17.
The article said the game showed the "fear [of Taylor] has outgrown the man" and said the Redskins can "mangle LT Sunday."
The New York writers hadn't even seen the article and were puzzled when Gibbs started lecturing them about Taylor.
"It's embarrassing to us and probably to Taylor for something like that to be written by somebody who obviously doesn't know much about football," he said.
He said Taylor is "the best single player we've faced. To insinuate that anyone has found an answer for Lawrence Taylor, I want to make it very plain [we haven't], and I hope you guys print it."
Offensive tackle Jim Lachey, who takes on Taylor most of the time, although he gets help from tight end Don Warren and a running back at times, was asked if he stuffed Taylor.
"I don't know if I stuffed him. He's a great player. It's not the same film I watched," Lachey said.
When Lachey was asked if he played well against Taylor, he said, "No comment on that. I don't have any idea. But we didn't win the game. If you don't win, nobody plays well."
After practice yesterday, Gibbs picked up where he left off with the New York writers.
"I guarantee he was a factor in that game. He's been a major factor in every game we've played. He's probably kept us out of more playoffs and everything else," Gibbs said, then brushed off Taylor's statistics in that game.
"He makes you rework everything you're doing and change the whole structure of your offense. In some cases, you might be double-teaming him, and he causes somebody else to get there," Gibbs said.
Giants coach Bill Parcells echoed that theme.
"They put three guys on him a few plays, and most of the time they used two. When you do that, you're giving up other things," he said.
The key question Sunday is whether Taylor will be in top form after pulling a hamstring on the final play against the Miami Dolphins three weeks ago. He came back and played two weeks ago against the Dallas Cowboys, and Parcells said Taylor is 100 percent.
Taylor wouldn't comment on how well he played in the second game last year. "I don't know what happened. That's history," he said.
Taylor, though, said he is always eager to play at noisy RFK Stadium.
"The best thing is if you start doing things right, it gets quiet. When it [crowd] shuts up, it's a great feeling," he said.